UAE aluminium giant EGA notes sustainability growth in 2018

Smelter, co-owned by Abu Dhabi and Dubai, cuts smelting and casting waste by 15% and reduces PFC emissions by 96%

EGA's Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi.
EGA's Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) – equally owned by Mubadala in Abu Dhabi and Investment Corporation of Dubai, and the largest company to be jointly owned by Abu Dhabi and Dubai – has published its second annual sustainability report, detailing the company’s management approach and sustainability performance in 2018 at its UAE and Republic of Guinea operations and projects, with key findings including 39% cuts in carbon emissions, all of EGA’s spent potlining (SPL) being sent for recycling, and 11.8%, 5.7%, and 96% cuts respectively in nitrogen oxide (NOx), fluoride, and perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions.

EGA said 100,000 people benefited from its training and awareness programmes in Guinea last year, and the firm sent 35% less waste to landfill in 2018 compared to 2017.

Carbon dust recycled equalled 46% during 2018, falling short of EGA’s target to recycle 66% of its carbon dust, and sulphur dioxide (SOx) emissions per kg/tonne of aluminium grew by 6.8% compared to 2017.

However, the injury frequency rate at EGA in 2018 was 65% lower than the global industry average for smelting, and the firm cut waste generation from its smelting and casting operations by 15% compared to 2017.

EGA said in its report that it had posted “a solid financial performance in 2018, despite the significant challenges posed by aluminium and raw price material volatility”.

The smelter’s revenue reached $6.4bn (AED23.4bn) in 2018, with net income reaching $318m (AED1.2bn) during the year.

EGA’s report complies with Global Reporting Initiative Standards—an international benchmark for the public disclosure of economic, environmental, and societal performance—and requirements set by the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative Performance Standards, which define environmental, social, and governance performance standards for sustainability issues specific to the aluminum value chain.

Commenting on the report, EGA’s managing director and chief executive officer, Abdulla Kalban said: “The use of aluminium has enormous potential benefits, from making cars lighter and more fuel efficient to creating packaging that is infinitely recyclable.

“However, at the EGA we recognise that making products that help meet social and environmental challenges is not enough. It also matters how responsibly the products are made.

“Transparently reporting our successes and challenges in annual sustainability reports is an important way for us to demonstrate we deserve the trust of the societies in which we operate and to improve our sustainability performance,” Kalban added in a company statement.

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