Political leaders from Qatar and Norway painted a positive picture for the aluminium industry when they spoke at the spectacular opening of Qatalum in Mesaieed on Monday.
In a colorful program, the two cultures came together, represented by heads of state Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon, as the top official participants.
The theme of the program was “Altogether,” symbolizing the partnership of Qatar Petroleum and Hydro – the joint-venture parties behind Qatalum, that Qatar and Norway are cooperating on a large industrial project, and that Qatalum is the result of the efforts of many over a long period.
This message was delivered artistically as well – Helene Bøksle sang Norwegian folk music accompanied by Marsel Oraij on a traditional Qatari stringed instrument. Earlier, the musical program included a thundering performance in aluminium, with cans, kitchen utensils, drums, bolts and bars. The gathering of 650 guests rocked to the music.
Pre-recorded messages by Qatar’s deputy prime minister, Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, who is also oil and industry minister, addressed the importance of Qatalum to Qatar’s desire to build a broader industrial base on top of its petroleum industry.
Norway’s minister of industry and trade, Trond Giske, emphasized the potential for further cooperation between Norway and Qatar. The two energy-exporting countries should be able to find solutions to the global climate challenge, Giske said.
Qatalum’s chairperson of the board, Abdullah Salatt, and the company’s CEO, Jan Arve Haugan, pointed to the great effort that has gone into this mega-project – on time and on budget.
Haugan, who considers himself the proudest company leader in Qatar, praised the extremely competent organization Qatalum has built up that creates the foundation to develop one of the most competitive companies in the aluminium industry.