UAE Focus

Al Taweelah alumina refinery

Al Taweelah alumina refinery

$3.3bn EGA alumina refinery goes online

May 2019

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has announced the start-up of its $3.3-billion Al Taweelah alumina refinery, a strategic growth project that expands the industrial giant’s business upstream in the aluminium value chain.

The facility, located in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, is the first alumina refinery in the UAE and its start-up marks the beginning of alumina refining as a new industrial activity in the country, said EGA.

Once full ramp-up is achieved, Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to produce some two million tonnes of alumina per year, replacing some imports and securing EGA’s competitive supply of this vital raw material, it stated.

Commenting on the announcement, managing director and CEO Abdulla Kalban said: “The start-up of Al Taweelah alumina refinery is transformative for EGA and the first of two major milestones this year as we complete our strategic growth projects upstream in the aluminium value chain.”

Construction of Al Taweelah alumina refinery took 72 million hours of work – the equivalent of one person working for more than 25,000 years. The construction workforce peaked at 11,542 people.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to convert some five million tonnes of bauxite into alumina per year once full ramp-up is achieved. Bauxite for the project will be imported from Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee in Guinea in West Africa, said the Emirati industrial giant.

EGA is also building a bauxite mine and export facilities in Guinea in another strategic growth project upstream. First bauxite exports are expected during the second half of this year and will be sold to customers around the world, it added.

Meanwhile, EGA has officially broken ground on the new Dh1-billion ($272 million) state-of-the-art power block at its Jebel Ali smelter in Dubai in co-ordination with Abu Dhabi group Mubadala Investment Company and Dubal Holding, the investment arm of the Dubai government for power, commodities, mining and industry.

The new, highly-efficient power facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from EGA’s power generation at Jebel Ali by some 10 per cent, said EGA.

Emissions reductions per tonne of aluminium produced at Jebel Ali, which includes both power generation and aluminium smelting, are expected to be up to seven per cent, it added.

Mubadala and Dubal Holding have set up a new joint venture to develop this new facility, said EGA, which intends to buy the facility’s output for 25 years following its commissioning. Once the new power block is commissioned, five older, smaller and less efficient turbines at EGA Jebel Ali will be put on standby for use only in emergencies, it stated.

The project is expected to reduce EGA’s NOx emissions at Jebel Ali by 58 per cent. Global technology major Siemens has signed the first power services agreement with EGA to install the UAE’s first combined cycle H-class gas turbine at the power block. The project is also the first in the global aluminium industry to use a Siemen’s H-class gas turbine, a leading technology in efficient power generation, said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, vice chairman of Dubal Holding and EGA

As part of the 20-year service agreement, Siemens will provide maintenance and repairs as well as onsite personnel support for the gas turbine and its generator at the planned over 600-MW combined cycle project feeding EGA’s Jebel Ali power plant.  

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