Mubadala-backed EGA upgrades gas turbines at Al Taweelah plant to cut emissions

The move will reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the plant by up to 74,000 tonnes annually

EGA and GE officials sign the agreement to upgrade four GE turbines at EGA's Al Taweelah power plant. Photo: EGA
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Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the UAE’s biggest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, signed an agreement with US-based GE to upgrade gas turbines at Al Taweelah power plant as part of the UAE’s push to reduce emissions and and help the country achieve its net zero targets by 2050.

As part of the deal, EGA will upgrade four 9F gas turbines and carry out hardware and software improvements to boost the plant's efficiency and output, the company said on Monday.

Once upgraded, power output from the four turbines is expected to increase by up to 72 megawatts for the same amount of fuel consumed while greenhouse gas emissions will drop by up to 74,000 tonnes annually, equal to removing more than 16,000 cars from the UAE’s roads.

“At EGA, we are committed to embedding sustainability in everything we do,” chief executive Abdulnasser Bin Kalban said.

“This includes improving the efficiency of our current captive natural gas-fired electricity generation fleet, even though we plan to divest these assets and, instead, source the power we need from the grid.”

EGA, which is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm Mubadala Investment Company and the Investment Corporation of Dubai, is the world’s biggest “premium” aluminium producer. The company’s metal is the UAE's largest export after oil and gas.

EGA is taking various steps to decarbonise its operations and reduce emissions.

Earlier this year, the company said it would soon completely shift to nuclear and solar energy to produce aluminium amid growing global demand for sustainably developed raw materials.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi company became the first to produce aluminium commercially using solar power. It currently produces about 40,000 tonnes of green aluminium, which is being supplied to car maker BMW.

In March, EGA, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, better known as Taqa, Dubal Holding and the Emirates Water and Electricity Company unveiled a major initiative to further boost solar power generation in Abu Dhabi and decarbonise EGA’s aluminium production in the UAE.

EGA and GE also said in November they would develop a road map to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of EGA’s existing GE natural gas turbines.

This will be done by exploring hydrogen as a fuel and through carbon capture, use and storage solutions.

Currently, up to 300 GE-built units support the generation of up to 40 per cent of the UAE’s power.

Updated: May 23, 2022, 11:48 AM