EGA starts constructing UAE’s largest aluminium recycling plant

The facility is expected to supply to local and global markets once completed within three years

EGA’s aluminium is the biggest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas and is shipped to more than 50 countries. Photo: EGA
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Emirates Global Aluminium, the UAE’s largest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, has begun construction of the country’s largest aluminium recycling plant.

The project, which has an annual processing capacity of 170,000 tonnes, is being built next to EGA’s existing smelter in Al Taweelah, the company said on Tuesday.

The plant, which will convert post-consumer aluminium scrap such as used window frames into low-carbon premium aluminium billets, is expected to supply local and global markets once construction is completed within three years.

“Aluminium recycling is key to our metal achieving its enormous potential to contribute to decarbonisation while improving global living standards,” said Abdulnasser bin Kalban, chief executive of Emirates Global Aluminium.

“Our construction of a major aluminium recycling plant will provide low carbon product options for our local and global customers while contributing to the national Operation 300bn industrial growth strategy.”

Most of the aluminium scrap generated in the UAE is currently exported for processing outside the country.

Once the recycling plant is complete, EGA expects to become the largest consumer of aluminium scrap in the Emirates.

EGA, one of the world’s largest aluminium producers, has smelters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, an alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi and a bauxite mine in Guinea.

It is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company and the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

The UAE is the fifth-largest aluminium-producing country in the world. EGA’s aluminium is the biggest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas and is shipped to more than 50 countries.

Global demand for recycled aluminium is projected to grow to 57 million tonnes in 2040 from about 27 million tonnes last year, EGA said.

Recycled aluminium is expected to account for around 60 per cent of the growth in global aluminium supply between now and 2030, and around 70 per cent of supply growth between 2030 and 2040.

EGA expects the global energy transition boost demand for the metal in the long term.

Aluminium is widely used to build solar panels and wind turbines, two of the key renewable energy technologies that are driving decarbonisation efforts across the globe.

Earlier this year, EGA began supplying aluminium made by using solar power and recycled metal to BMW.

The German car maker has been using the aluminium, called CelestiAL-R, to manufacture electric drivetrain housings, engine components and large-scale structural parts since the beginning of the year, EGA said in June.

Updated: November 21, 2023, 9:20 AM