Alba selected EGA’s DX+ Ultra technology for its Potline 6 Project

Alba selected EGA’s DX+ Ultra technology for its Potline 6 Project

EGA in historic tech deployment at Alba

January 2020

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) announced the completion of its historic project to export UAE-developed industrial technology, with the conclusion of performance guarantee tests at Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), the world’s largest aluminium smelter outside China.

EGA had won a competitive international tender in 2016 to supply its aluminium smelting technology to Alba for the Line 6 Expansion Project, in a significant milestone for the development of a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

In its press release, Alba said it had selected EGA’s DX+ Ultra technology, the 10th generation EGA technology which is ranked amongst the most efficient in the world, for the Potline 6 Project.

Alba’s new production facility, Potline 6, was inaugurated by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in November, last year.

EGA’s technology at Potline 6 has now passed a final performance guarantee test, with results exceeding the Emirati group’s commitments under the technology transfer agreement.

The production capacity of each reduction cell is 11 per cent higher than EGA guaranteed, whilst specific energy consumption – a measure of the electricity required to produce each tonne of aluminium – is one per cent better than promised, a significant reduction in the energy-intensive smelting process, it added.

On the key milestone, managing director and CEO Abdulla Kalban said: “The export of EGA’s industrial technology to Alba was historic for our company and for the UAE. I congratulate all the EGA’s technologists who have worked to develop our technology over the years, and the team that was deployed to help implement it in Bahrain.”

“We are proud that our technology is performing even better than we promised during the commercial negotiations,” he stated.

Alba’s acting CEO Ali Al Baqali said: “We selected EGA’s smelting technology because it was the best in the world for our Potline 6. We are also pleased that the performance of EGA’s technology has exceeded our expectations.”

In the performance test at Alba, EGA’s technology operated at 465kA. Specific energy consumption was 12.87 kilowatt hours per kilogramme of aluminium produced, explained Al Baqali.

As part of the technology licensing agreement with Alba, EGA provided experts from its Technology Development and Transfer team and from Operations during the construction of Potline 6. Some 20 EGA technologists participated in the project in total, he added.

EGA also hosted 21 staff from the production and maintenance departments in Alba at its sites in the UAE for hands-on training using EGA’s technology.

The Emirati aluminium giant has developed its own aluminium smelting technology in the UAE for more than 25 years. It has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s, and has retrofitted all its older production lines.

Meanwhile, EGA announced that Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi has produced one million tonnes of alumina since operations began in April.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery is now expected to reach sustained production at its nameplate capacity during the first half of 2020.

The refinery is expected to produce some two million tonnes of alumina per year once full ramp-up is achieved, enough to meet 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina needs. Alumina refineries convert bauxite ore into alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters.

Kalban said: “We are pleased with the progress so far at Al Taweelah alumina refinery and we are on track to deliver a world-class ramp-up.”

“Our preparations to operate Al Taweelah alumina refinery safely and efficiently began when the project was still on the drawing board. These plans are being effectively put into action by our operations team of global industry veterans and UAE Nationals specially trained for their roles in this new industrial activity for our country,” he stated.

EGA had invested some $3.3 billion to build Al Taweelah alumina refinery with the construction taking 72 million hours of work, equivalent to one person working for over 25,000 years, he added.

The new plant contains some 9,500 instruments, 222 tanks, enough piping to stretch from Abu Dhabi to Muscat, and cabling that would reach from Abu Dhabi to Cairo. It covers an area equivalent to 200 football fields, and contains enough steel to build seven Eiffel Towers.

More Stories