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Emirates Global Aluminium secures a major alumina supply deal with the Alumina Industrial Company

AL Circle

Emirates Global Aluminium has inked an agreement to supply alumina to The Alumina Industrial Company. This collaboration aims to foster the emergence of a new sector dedicated to manufacturing speciality products from alumina, aligning with the UAE's ambitious industrial growth strategy, Operation 300bn.

Emirates Global Aluminium secures a major alumina supply deal with the Alumina Industrial Company

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The Alumina Industrial Company, a joint venture between the Maithan Group and Bathwal Corporation, is set to pioneer the UAE's inaugural facility for crafting speciality alumina products within the Khalifa Economic Zone Abu Dhabi. These specialised products find extensive utility in industrial refractories and abrasives, catering to a diverse range of industrial applications.

EGA, the sole producer of alumina in the UAE, is crucial for a project requiring a local source of alumina. This supply agreement marks the first instance of EGA selling alumina from its refinery to a third party, showcasing EGA's commitment to facilitating industrial expansion within the country. Alumina serves as the primary feedstock for aluminium smelters. Presently, all alumina production from EGA's Al Taweelah refinery is dedicated to EGA's own smelters.

EGA's provision of alumina to the project represents an extension of its local commercial transactions, fostering downstream industrial operations. Approximately 10 per cent of EGA's metal is sold within the UAE, catering to 26 diverse companies producing items ranging from car components to window frames for both domestic consumption and international trade.

Operation 300bn seeks to bolster the UAE's industrial landscape, amplifying its impact on driving the national economy. The initiative targets a significant increase, aiming to more than double the industrial sector's GDP contribution to AED 300 billion by 2031.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, the Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said, “Driving sustainable economic growth is one way we fulfil EGA’s purpose - Together, innovating aluminium to make modern life possible. This commercial agreement to supply alumina to a new industry under development in the UAE further expands our contribution to industrialisation and prosperity in our nation, in line with the goals of Operation 300bn.”

Nikunj Bathwal, the Director of The Alumina Industrial Company, said, “Enabled by EGA’s alumina supply and leveraging the world-class infrastructure of UAE, we are creating a unique alumina derivatives platform that will support existing industries in the UAE, and potentially lead to the development of further new industrial operations in the country.”

The Alumina Industrial Company is planning to establish a plant in KEZAD with the capacity to produce 80,000 tonnes of specialised alumina products per year initially, with potential expansion to 150,000 tonnes annually.

This project is anticipated to generate 200 jobs during construction and create 150 permanent positions once operational, with the commencement of production expected in 2025.

The plant's output is poised to replace a portion of imports crucial for various UAE industries, including steel, aluminium, petrochemicals, glass, and cement. Refractories, which are ceramic materials resistant to high temperatures, play a vital role in lining hot surfaces in numerous industrial processes.

EGA itself utilises refractories in certain industrial operations. The Alumina Industrial Company's project could potentially address a substantial portion of EGA's local procurement needs, further enhancing local supply chains.

EGA's Al Taweelah alumina refinery, operational since 2019 following a $3.3 billion investment, converts bauxite ore into alumina, serving as the feedstock for aluminium smelters. In 2022, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery produced 2.43 million tonnes of alumina, surpassing its original design capacity significantly and meeting 47 per cent of EGA's total alumina requirements.

EGA already provides alumina hydrate, a precursor to alumina, to both domestic and international aluminium fluoride producers. Aluminium fluoride is used in aluminium smelting, welding, ceramic glazes, and enamels.

Refractories serve as insulating materials necessary for industrial processes operating at temperatures exceeding 800°C. At the same time, abrasives, a form of high-purity alumina, are essential for metal production, industrial polishing, and abrasive compounds.

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