EGA celebrates 40 years since start of aluminium production

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Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) looks back on a 40 years history since the first tonne of aluminium was produced in the UAE. Since production began in November 1979 at EGA’s site in Jebel Ali – then known as Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) – the aluminium sector has grown into one of the UAE’s largest industries accounting for 1.4% of the economy and supporting 60,000 UAE jobs. In 2013 Dubal and Emal (founded in 2007) merged to form Emirates Global Aluminium.

H.E Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, said: “Today EGA is a national industrial champion and a global UAE success story making one in every 25 tonnes of aluminium worldwide. EGA, and the aluminium sector that has grown around it, contributes some AED20 billion (€5bn) to our economy every year. EGA has played an important role in growing our national prosperity for the past four decades and I look forward to the company’s future contributions to further economic diversification.”

H.E Eng. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy & Industry, said: “Today not only metal, but also aluminium parts for downstream value-added industries from automotive to construction, are made here in the UAE and exported around the world by EGA and its 26 local customers.”

Khaldoon Mubarak, chairman of EGA, said: “Today, EGA connects the UAE to over 50 countries and more than 350 industrial customers. More importantly, it is a significant employer of talented Emiratis, in addition to being an incubator of aluminium smelting technology, and a concrete example of the successful economic diversification efforts of the UAE..”

Potline at Dubal under construction in 1978

30 million tonnes of aluminium since 1979

EGA CEO Abdulla Kalban said: “EGA has produced over 30 million tonnes of aluminium since that first tonne in 1979, with our metal becoming part of everything from cars to skyscrapers and making modern life possible for people worldwide. Over the past 40 years, we have taken the UAE from no aluminium production to the fifth largest aluminium-producing country in the world. We can proudly say that we have built a great company and UAE industry, turning the vision of our founder the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum into reality.”

Dubal began production in 1979 with a capacity of 135,000 tpy. The Jebel Ali site has been expanded eight times since 1979, taking its production to over 1m tpy. In 2007 development began at Emal in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. Production at Phase I of Emal started in 2009 followed by Phase II in 2013. Dubal and Emal completed the merger to form EGA in 2014.

EGA has developed technology in the UAE for more than 25 years to continually improve the aluminium smelting process. EGA’s latest industrialized technology, the 10th, is amongst the most efficient in the global aluminium industry. EGA has used its own technology in every expansion since the 1990s and has retrofitted all its older production lines. In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally, in a major milestone for the development of a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

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