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GARMCO Embarks on Its Green Initiative

Gulf Aluminium Rolling Mill (GARMCO) in the Kingdom of Bahrain is initiating a new vision for a sustainable future. The GARMCO Green Initiative provides a tangible template for the company’s new strategic direction. Drawing on years of best practices, the company aims to actively implement eco-friendly processes throughout its value chain and achieve high sustainability standards.

Basim AlSaie, chairman of GARMCO.
Basim AlSaie, chairman of GARMCO.

As a result, the rolling mill is now able to produce its GARMCO Green range of sheet products, which are manufactured from low-carbon recycled aluminum. The company hopes to provide a source for European and North American companies that focus on environmental commitment and responsibility.

“As a result of growing awareness about sustainable development, major industries and corporations have started demanding green and eco-friendly products and processes,” said Basim AlSaie, chairman of GARMCO. “We believe that we all share this responsibility, and we owe it to our future generations in the way we conduct our business operations today.”

Green from the Source

GARMCO started up its new recycling facility in August 2017. Added recycling capabilities provided the company an opportunity to become vertically integrated, enabling the production of aluminum slab, while also improving its environmental footprint.

“Our new remelt facility was the major turning point for us,” said AlSaie. “We believe in our role to provide our customers with environmentally friendly products that are produced from recycled aluminum. Today at GARMCO, we can offer rolled products with some of the highest and most stringent environmental standards that top manufacturers demand.”

First cast at GARMCO's new aluminum remelt facility was achieved in August 2017.
First cast at GARMCO’s new aluminum remelt facility was achieved in August 2017. (Photo: Fives.)

As a major producer of aluminum rolled products, GARMCO still needs to source their raw material from time to time. One of the company’s major suppliers is the nearby Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), which operates a modern smelter with stringent environmental systems. In recognition of its sustainable operation, Alba achieved ASI Performance Certification in January 2020, demonstrating its commitment to environmental, social and governance performance. The certification covers the production of primary aluminum from alumina, calcinations of petroleum coke, water desalination, anode manufacturing, smelting, and casting, as well as captive power generation.

Sustainable Rolling Production

In addition to obtaining its aluminum slab and raw materials from sustainable sources, GARMCO is working to ensure its rolling production operations are environmentally responsible as well. This includes boosting performance across the company’s operations to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure energy efficiency.

Some of the initiatives being put forward include introducing new technologies for more energy efficient processes and controls and reducing electricity and natural gas consumption. Another initiative is to install a de-coating line for recycling used beverage cans, which will further reduce the company’s reliance on primary metal. Additional measures include:

  • Halting activities that could harm the environment, such as the use of halon gas due to its adverse impact on the ozone layer
  • Using LED lights that consume less energy
  • Introducing variable frequency drivers for mill motors
  • Implementing a waste management policy that would include assigning approved third parties to conduct safe disposal of waste

GARMCO’s management team holds quarterly meetings to review environmental impact issues, based on monthly reports from line managers. The company also issues a quarterly report to the Bahrain Ministry of the Environment on emissions, radiation and heat levels, effluents, and waste management.

Environmental Certification

On June 18, 2020, GARMCO received acknowledgment for its efforts, when the company obtained ISO 14021:2016 certification. The prestigious certification is granted to companies that promote best practices in environmental management across its operations. The assessment for GARMCO’s certification was conducted by TUV Nord.

“At GARMCO, we have always been passionate for protection of the environment. Obtaining the ISO 14021:2016 certification was thus a natural evolution in this direction,” said AlSaie. “We place high priority on the need to have environmentally friendly products and processes as part of our commitment towards a sustainable growth while conserving the environment.”

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