EGA Inks Deal to Upgrade Khalifa Port for Increased Bauxite Imports

EGA Inks Deal to Upgrade Khalifa Port for Increased Bauxite Imports
Berge Stahl, a bulk carrier. Source: Wikimedia

UAE’s Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC (EGA) has come to an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to upgrade and use Khalifa Port for importing raw materials for use in EGA’s smelting operations.

According to EGA, the agreement will see Abu Dhabi Ports dredging and widening the Khalifa Port to a final low-tide channel depth of 18.5 m (60’ 8”) and a low-tide basin depth of 18.0 m (59’). Such modifications allow for the use of container ships up to and including those classified as Neopanamax, which are capable of a maximum deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 120 thousand metric tons. However, EGA says that most traffic in and out of the port will be of the Capesize category, some of which are capable of hauling a deadweight tonnage of up to 200 thousand metric tons.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports, greeted the agreement as a major step forward for shipping and trade in and through the Emirates.

“Today’s announcement marks another first for Abu Dhabi’s maritime and trade industry, and demonstrates our commitment to ongoing innovation and expansion in response to market and customer demands. As vital trade, logistics and industrial hubs of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port and KIZAD [Khalifa Industrial Zone] play a vital role in the Emirate’s economic diversification strategy. Khalifa Port will be the first port in the region with capsize vessel handling capacity, and with EGA’s long term commitment, will give an important boost to trade and investment in KIZAD and more broadly in the region.”

Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, hailed the agreement as an improvement destined to enhance both EGA’s bottom line and Abu Dhabi’s economy.

“Dredging Khalifa Port to allow fully-laden Capesize vessels to reach EGA’s berth will reduce our costs, simplify our bauxite supply chain, and improve our environmental performance. I am also pleased that the enhanced capabilities at Khalifa Port will enable broader trade and economic benefits for Abu Dhabi.”

Based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Emirates Global Aluminium is an aluminium conglomerate created by the merger between Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) and Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) in 2013. EGA had an estimated enterprise value of US$15 billion at the time the merger took place. The firm is owned equally by Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi and Investment Corporation of Dubai. Emirates Global Aluminium holds interests in bauxite/alumina and primary aluminium smelting. EGA turned out a record 2.5 million metric tons of primary aluminium in 2016.