Progress at EGA's $3bn Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi

Production ramp-up hit on the refinery that noted average daily production worth 88% of its nameplate output in August

EGA's Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi.
EGA / CW Archives
EGA's Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company in the UAE outside of oil and gas firms, announced production ramp-up at its Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi – the $3.3bn (AED12.1bn) project that is the UAE’s first alumina refinery – with 600,000 tonnes of alumina produced since the company began operations at the new facility in April.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to produce more than one million tonnes of alumina in total by the end of 2019, and during August, average daily production was recorded at 88% of Al Taweelah alumina refinery’s nameplate capacity.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to reach sustained production at nameplate capacity during the course of 2020, and once fully-ramped up, its production is expected to be two million tonnes of alumina per year, enough to meet 40% of EGA’s alumina needs.

Preparations to operate Al Taweelah alumina refinery took more than 500,000 hours of work.

EGA said 589 people work in the operations team at Al Taweelah alumina refinery, including “seasoned experts recruited from around the world and UAE nationals trained for roles in this new industrial activity for the UAE”.

Commenting on the milestone, managing director and chief executive officer of EGA, Abdulla Jassem bin Kalban, said: "Ramping up production at a new alumina refinery is a complex and challenging task, and we have been preparing for the ramp-up of Al Taweelah alumina refinery since before construction began.

“We have a world-class team operating EGA’s alumina refinery, and they are making great progress on this journey."

EGA is importing bauxite ore to process at Al Taweelah alumina refinery from the Republic of Guinea. In August 2019, EGA started production at Guinea Alumina Corporation, its bauxite mining project in the country, with bauxite from the GAC project shipped to third-party customers around the world.

Al Taweelah refinery’s peak construction workforce was 11,542 from 20 countries, and construction took 72 million hours of work, equivalent to one person working for over 25,000 years.

The new plant contains 9,500 instruments, 222 tanks, enough piping to stretch from Abu Dhabi to Muscat, and cabling that would reach from Abu Dhabi to Cairo.

EGA said Al Taweelah refinery covers an area equivalent to 200 football fields, and contains enough steel to build seven Eiffel Towers.

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