Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has appointed Dr Abdulla Habib as its new chief operating officer (COO), 10 months after the aluminium producer appointed the Bahraini national as acting COO.

According to a statement, Habib took up the post with immediate effect during the Alba board of directors meeting on 2 December, 2018.

The industry veteran, made acting COO at Alba in February this year, joined the aluminium producer in 1995 as a trainee engineer after completing his bachelor of science in chemical engineering, following which he held various roles in the firm's reduction lines, research and development, and marketing departments.

He was appointed director of reduction lines and services in February 2015, before moving to become director of Reduction Line 6 Start-up in July 2017.

READ: Bahrain’s $3bn Alba Line 6 to create 500 permanent, direct jobs

He holds a PhD in chemical engineering, an MA in aluminium smelting from the University of New South Wales in Australia, and an MBA from the Essec/ French Arabian School.

Speaking on the appointment, Tim Murray, Alba’s chief executive officer, said: “I am confident Abdulla, with both his technical and business knowledge, will take the company to the next level during the Line 6 commissioning, which will make Alba the largest smelter in the world.”

The appointment comes as the firm ramps up its Line 6 expansion project, one of the largest brownfield developments in the Middle East.

READ: 'Intensive effort' to meet Alba's Line 6 expansion deadline

Alba’s board approved the project in June 2015, with the firm securing the natural gas supply for it five months later. The development will make Alba the world’s largest single-site aluminium smelter with a total production volume of 1.5 million tonnes.

Two months ago saw Alba secure a long term agreement with Italian flurochemical firm Fluorsid for the supply of smelter-grade aluminium fluoride as part of the expansion.