Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company outside oil and gas in the United Arab Emirates announced the start-up of Al Taweelah alumina refinery, a strategic growth project that expands the industrial giant’s business upstream in the aluminium value chain. Alumina is the raw material for aluminium smelters and is refined from bauxite ore. Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to produce some two million tonnes of alumina per year once full ramp-up is achieved meeting 40 percent of EGA's alumina requirements, replacing some imports and securing EGA’s competitive supply of this key raw material.
Al Taweelah alumina refinery cost approximately USD 3.3 billion to develop and is located in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. It 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.
Mr. Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA said that “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. Al Taweelah alumina refinery, and our bauxite mining project in Guinea where construction continues, secure our supply of raw materials at competitive prices and will strengthen EGA’s business for decades ahead.”
Constructing the 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. Some 280 safety professionals managed onsite safety processes and systems. According to US Bureau of Labour Statistics’ published figures, The total recordable incident frequency rate during construction of Al Taweelah alumina refinery was less than 10 percent of that in heavy industrial construction in the United States in 2017. There were zero fatalities.
Once full ramp-up is achieved Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to convert about five million tonnes of bauxite into alumina per year. For the project, Bauxite will be imported from Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. The plant is managed from a sophisticated control room which has thrice the instrumentation of a modern airliner.