EGA receives caustic soda shipment for Al Taweelah alumina refinery

alumina 6Al Taweelah alumina refinery is the first to be built in the UAE and the second in the Middle East. (Image source: Vicki Nunn/Wikimedia Commons)Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), one of the leading industrial companies in the UAE, has received the first shipment of caustic soda for its under-construction Al Taweelah alumina refinery

As caustic soda and bauxite are the two most important raw materials in alumina refining, stocks of these materials are initially required for the carefully-planned sequential commissioning of Al Taweelah alumina refinery.

EGA began importing bauxite in June this year. The company has also begun stockpiling hydrate, another raw material required to commission Al Taweelah alumina refinery. Once full ramp-up is achieved, the refinery is set to produce about two million tonnes of alumina per year, meeting 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina requirements.

This will require an amount of five million tonnes of bauxite each year, which will be imported from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. The plant will also require some 130,000 tonnes of caustic soda each year, which will initially be imported.

The first alumina from Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected during the first half of 2019.

Abdulla Kalban, managing director and CEO of EGA, said, “Whilst construction continues in many areas of Al Taweelah alumina refinery, we are steadily moving into commissioning completed equipment and sections. Importing the first of these raw materials is an important milestone in this immense effort to develop alumina refining as a new industrial activity in the UAE.”

Last year, EGA signed a long-term caustic soda supply agreement with Shaheen Chem Investments LLC, which intends to build a chemicals complex near EGA’s operations in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. Once built and ramped-up, Shaheen’s plant will meet all EGA’s caustic soda needs.

EGA is expanding upstream in the aluminium value chain and internationally to secure the natural resources that the UAE’s aluminium industry needs and create new revenue streams. The company is also building a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in Guinea. First bauxite exports from the Guinea Alumina Corporation project are expected during the second half of 2019.

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