EGA Plans First Alumina Refined at Al Taweelah in First Half of 2019

EGA Plans First Alumina Refined at Al Taweelah in First Half of 2019
Al Taweelah. Source: EGA

United Arab Emirates aluminium smelter Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC revealed last week that it anticipates refining the first batch of alumina at Al Taweelah at some point in the front half of next year, over a year beyond the initially-planned start date of late 2017.

The refinery, which is expected to ultimately boast a capacity of 2 million metric tons per annum, will feed the entirety of its output to EGA’s smelters. However, the firm has established no timetable for the alumina refinery to achieve peak production according to company spokesman Simon Buerk.

Upon reaching full production, the company says the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will fill 40 percent of its alumina needs, with the balance to be met via overseas suppliers. The refinery will be fueled by bauxite ore purchased from Guinea’s Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee.

Though significantly behind schedule, the refinery will still go far to help place EGA well in front of the anticipated explosion of alumina demand in the Middle East. The firm is also racing to capitalize upon an expected boom market for bauxite with the construction of mining facilities in Guinea. Initially planned for sale to outside entities, the bauxite operations in the west African country are expected to commence exports in the latter half of next year.

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.