UAE Focus

EGA refinery in final stages of commissioning

February 2019

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, has announced that commissioning of its new Al Taweelah alumina refinery has entered its final stages.

On the project progress, EGA said commissioning of the four major sections of Al Taweelah alumina refinery is being completed in a carefully planned order, with the final stages of the Bayer process ready for production first. Commissioning of the last process stage, calcination, was completed in December.

The Emirati aluminium giant said the first production from Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected during the first half of this year.

EGA has now begun hot water testing of the digestion section of the alumina refinery. Digestion is the first of four successive stages of the Bayer process through which bauxite ore is refined into alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters. It involves heating a slurry of crushed bauxite and caustic soda to 270 deg C using steam.

Commenting on the project, Abdulla Kalban, the managing director and CEO, said: “We are looking forward to beginning production and ramping up of this project, which along with our Guinea mine will transform EGA into an integrated global aluminium producer,” he stated.

Earlier last month, EGA’s nearby Al Taweelah power plant started delivering steam to the new alumina refinery through new connecting pipelines. Supplying steam from EGA’s existing power plant, which was built to provide electricity and steam for EGA’s Al Taweelah aluminium smelter, improves the alumina refinery’s overall energy efficiency.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery, which has a total budgeted project cost of $3.3 billion, is the first in the UAE and only the second such refinery in the Middle East.

Once production is fully ramped up, the alumina refinery is expected to produce some 2 million tonnes of alumina per year and meet 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina requirements, replacing some imports. 

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