Bahrain Alloys Manufacturing Company (Bamco) is awaiting the completion of Aluminium Bahrain’s (Alba) Potline 5 expansion to expand its own production of aluminium alloys and master alloys.
Production at Bamco was 20,000 tonnes in 2003, up 19 per cent over the previous year. This year the company plans to cast the same as last year as its allocation of liquid metal from Alba has been maintained at the same level, said Bamco general manager Graham Banister.
Bamco is keen on expanding production because of rising demand and new markets it has developed including Australia and India, which since January of this year have been importing as much of 150 tonnes per month of alloys for making cylinder heads for the automotive industry.
Indonesia remains the biggest importer, taking in some 60 per cent of the production. Other markets importing Bamco products are Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Europe.
“We plan a significant increase in our production once the Alba expansion is accomplished,” said Banister. Naturally this depends on Alba’s allocation of metal units, he said. The $1.7 billion Alba project, due for completion in mid-2005, will raise production capacity to 833,000 tonnes per year (tpy) from around 526,000 tpy now.
Bamco’s main shareholder is Ecka Granules of Germany, a leading manufacturer of non-ferrous metals and world leader in metallic powders. Bahraini investors own the remainder of the shares.
Bamco’s production facilities and offices are located in the Sitra industrial area, not far from the Alba complex. The product range covers all types of primary-based foundry and master alloys used in a wide range of castings. Included are wheel alloy (A356.2) unmodified and strontium-modified and concentrated master alloys of silicon, copper and magnesium, among other metals. Special alloys are produced to suit customers’ requirements. Bamco products are mainly used in the automotive industry.
The foundry alloys are produced using a 10-tonne capacity furnace. During casting the metal is degassed using an inline launder treatment process, then filtered through a CFF. Added to the liquid aluminium from Alba are silicon, magnesium and other elements to achieve final alloys. Ingots of 7 kg are produced on an automatic casting machine.
In the manufacture of master alloys, the ingots are produced using induction furnaces of two-tonne capacities with primary aluminium ingots as the basic raw material.
As well as master alloys of silicon and copper, special alloys are produced to customers’ requirements. The percentage of alloying addition to the aluminium is higher in master alloys when compared to foundry alloys.
As much as 15,000 tonnes of foundry alloys for making wheels was produced in 2003, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year. Another 5,000 tonnes in production was made up by aluminium silicon master alloy, up by the same margin.
Since its inception in 1996, Bamco has developed as a quality supplier of the products it makes. Highly experienced and qualified personnel manage the facilities and products are manufactured to recognised international standards. The company operates a total quality management system and has achieved the ISO 9001 registration under the British Standards Institute.
Bamco also has the added advantage of the wealth of technical experience and facilities of the R&D team of Ecka Granules at its disposal. Ecka Granules is a leader in technologies related to metal powder, alloying, metal foam and high-performance materials and the total production capacity of its plants worldwide is around 100,000 tpy.
In Bamco’s standard packing, the ingot size is 600 x 110 x 55 mm with weight approximately 7 kg. The standard bundle weight is approximately 800 kg and standard pallet weight apporoximately 1,000 kg (shrink-wrapped). Other packing configurations are available on request.