Emirates Global Aluminium, the UAE’s largest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, has joined the First Movers Coalition as it continues to focus on decarbonising its operations.
EGA is the first UAE company to join the group, whose current members include more than 50 companies from around the world.
The First Movers Coalition is led by the World Economic Forum and the US Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.
It aims to signal “market demand for low-carbon products” from hard-to-abate sectors, including aluminium, aviation, chemicals, concrete, shipping, steel and trucking, EGA said in a statement on Wednesday.
“To decarbonise our aluminium, we have to reach net zero not just in our own operations but also our supply chain,” said Abdulnasser bin Kalban, chief executive of EGA.
“Joining the First Movers Coalition is a powerful message to suppliers in hard-to-abate sectors that we will deploy our purchasing power to encourage decarbonisation.”
EGA, which is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment arm, Mubadala Investment Company, and the Investment Corporation of Dubai, operates aluminium smelters in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, a refinery in Al Taweelah and a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in Guinea.
EGA is already taking steps to develop its own technology to decarbonise its operations and reduce emissions, Salman Abdulla, executive vice president at EGA, said at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit last year.
The company aims to lower its emissions further in the next 10 to 15 years through “breakthrough technologies” by tapping into green sources of energy, including hydrogen and solar, he said at the time.
Last year, EGA became the first company in the world to produce aluminium commercially using solar energy, through a partnership with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. Electricity generation accounts for about 60 per cent of the global aluminium industry’s emissions. EGA markets this metal under the product name CelestiAL.
Earlier this year, EGA announced a strategic initiative with Taqa, Dubal Holding and Emirates Water and Electricity Company to divest its natural gas-fired power plants and instead source electricity from the grid, including an increasing proportion of clean energy.
It also signed an agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure to join the UAE hydrogen leadership initiative.
The initiative, launched by the ministry last year during Cop26 in Glasgow, seeks to achieve the country’s ambitions to be a global leader in low-carbon hydrogen, as the demand for the clean fuel surges during the push to decarbonise.