EGA begins work on renewable energy-powered data centres with AI in focus

The facilities at its Abu Dhabi and Dubai smelters will help increase data processing capacity by 2,300 times

Emirates Global Aluminium chief executive Abdulnasser bin Kalban, right, and Carlo Nizam, EGA chief digital officer, at the groundbreaking ceremony. Photo: EGA
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Emirates Global Aluminium, the UAE’s largest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, has broken ground on its sustainable industrial data centres, paving the way for plans to power its operations with artificial intelligence.

The data centres at its smelters in Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi and Jebel Ali in Dubai will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, help to increase data processing capacity by 2,300 times and cut costs, EGA said in a statement on Thursday.

The buildings, being developed with Dubai-based Scientechnic, will also serve as a key initial point for its ambitions for AI-powered site operations, including fully-autonomous cranes and vehicle operations, it said.

The facilities, which EGA described as the first of their kind for the region, are also expected to be certified as tier-3 data centres by the Uptime Institute, meaning they will not require shutdowns for equipment maintenance or replacement.

They will also streamline the company's operations and align its “commitment to embed sustainability in everything we do”, said Abdulnasser bin Kalban, chief executive of EGA.

“EGA’s bold aspiration to innovate the future of aluminium production is a source of our global competitive advantage and this includes leading our sector in the implementation of Industry 4.0,” he said.

“The construction of EGA’s new on-site data centres is an important milestone in our goal to establish a thriving manufacturing innovation ecosystem in the UAE.”

EGA, one of the world’s largest aluminium producers, also has 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.

EGA has continuously boosted its technology infrastructure to enhance operations and leverage the benefits of rapid innovations.

Last year, it signed a partnership with Microsoft, migrating a majority of its server and applications to the global technology major's cloud platform.

“Our new data centres will optimise the resilience and sustainability of EGA's digital manufacturing platform which supports data-heavy artificial intelligence and advanced automation solutions,” chief digital officer Carlo Nizam said.

In November, EGA began construction of the UAE's largest aluminium recycling plant at its Al Taweelah smelter, which has an annual processing capacity of 170,000 tonnes.

Updated: March 05, 2024, 10:21 AM