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EGA is also developing a bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa

EGA is also developing a bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa



EGA: making an impact

The company operates aluminium smelters at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi, and at Jebel Ali in Dubai, and sells its products to more than 350 customers in over 60 countries

January 2019

Emirates Global Aluminium, or EGA, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside the oil and gas sector, was the world’s largest producer of ‘premium aluminium’ in 2017, said a report.

The company operates aluminium smelters at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi, and at Jebel Ali in Dubai, and sells its products to more than 350 customers in over 60 countries.

At present, the UAE’s aluminium sector comprises EGA, which produces primary aluminium, and a range of independent firms producing semi-finished products (fabricators). Those 26 UAE-based firms are EGA’s business customers, who manufacture a variety of products out of the aluminium that they purchase, noted the report by Oxford Economics.

Calcination is the first of the four major sections of Al Taweelah alumina refinery to be ready for production

Calcination is the first of the four major sections of Al Taweelah alumina refinery to be ready for production

Most of the primary aluminium produced by EGA is exported to customers around the globe and end-users include some of the leading brands in the automotive, aerospace, construction, electronics and packaging sectors. The UAE-based fabricators also supply products to leading brands in a wide range of sectors.

Production of goods containing aluminium can be thought of, simplistically, as involving six phases: Mining of the bauxite ore; refinement of bauxite ore to produce alumina; smelting of alumina to produce liquid aluminium; casting of liquid aluminium into ingots, billets, and other primary aluminium products; processing of primary aluminium into semi-finished products such as window frames and car parts; and semi-finished products are supplied to industries including automotive, construction, packaging and electronics.

 

PRODUCING IN ABU DHABI

For now, all the alumina required is imported into the UAE. However, EGA is developing a refinery at Al Taweelah, near its smelting plant in that city. Once this is operational, bauxite will still need to be imported, but the reliance on imported alumina will be reduced by 40 per cent.

Last month, EGA said it has completed commissioning of the first major section of its under-construction alumina refinery at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi. The calcination is the first of the four major sections of Al Taweelah alumina refinery to be ready for production. Commissioning of other sections of the alumina refinery is ongoing and first alumina is expected during the first half of 2019.

 

GUINEA PROJECT 75PC DONE

EGA is also developing a bauxite mine in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. Bauxite ore from this mine is destined for export to third countries. The company recently announced that 75 per cent of the construction work on its giant project has been completed.

As recently as 1980, the primary aluminium industry had no presence in the UAE. But once established, it grew rapidly over the three decades to 2010, and since then has expanded further— with production rising from 1.4 million tonnes in that year to 2.6 million tonnes in 2017. This cumulative increase over the last seven years, of 85 per cent, equates to an average annual growth rate of
9.2 per cent.

As a result, the UAE is now the fifth-largest aluminium producing country in the world, by tonnage, after China, Russia, Canada and India, accounting for just over four per cent of total global production. (Source: Global regions and China from the International Aluminium Institute. UAE from EGA. Russia and US from WBMS. Canada calculated as North America minus US.)

Exports of aluminium also make an important contribution to the UAE’s international trade performance. For example, for Abu Dhabi alone, exports of aluminium (excluding re exports) totalled some $570 million (Dh 2.1 billion) in the first seven months of 2018, thereby accounting for 15 per cent of that Emirate’s total non-oil exports as per Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD). That compares with $125 million (Dh 458 million) of aluminium imports during the same period.

EGA’s 26 main local business customers, meanwhile, are spread across the UAE. The nine businesses in Dubai accounted for 38 per cent of EGA’s sales by value to these 21 firms in 2017, the two in Umm Al Quwain for 22 per cent, and the four in Abu Dhabi for 21 per cent. In turn, the customers’ products are both sold at home and exported, and are used in buildings, motor vehicles, trains and ships, industrial machinery, power supply networks, and street furniture, among other things.

In 2017, EGA had a turnover of $5.55 billion (Dh 20.38 billion), in relation to its activities in the UAE, while the UAE-based operations of its customers are estimated to have resulted in sales worth $0.63 billion (Dh 2.31billion). The sector’s total gross revenues therefore amounted to $6.18 billion (Dh 22.69 billion).

A significant share of these revenues is used to purchase inputs of raw materials, goods and services, including, in EGA’s case, imports of alumina. But the sector’s direct GDP, which includes employment costs, capital costs, and net operating profits, while excluding the cost of these inputs, still amounted to $2.42 billion (Dh 8.88 billion). EGA itself accounted for $2.31 billion (Dh 8.47 billion) of this, and its UAE-based customers for $0.11 billion (Dh 0.41 billion). Some 58 per cent, or $1.39 billion (Dh 5.12 billion), of the GDP generated by the sector itself occurs within Abu Dhabi. Another 40 per cent ($0.98 billion, Dh 3.49 billion) occurs in Dubai, and two per cent ($ 0.05 billion, Dh 0.17 billion) in the other five Emirates.




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