EGA plans to build its first, largest aluminium recycling facility in UAE

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EGA intends to market recycled aluminium under the product name ‘EternAL’. WAM

Emirates Global Aluminium plans to build a 150,000 tonnes per year aluminium recycling facility, the company’s first and set to be the largest in the UAE.

EGA intends to market recycled aluminium under the product name “EternAL,” the company announced on Wednesday in a statement.

The facility will process post-consumer aluminium scrap such as used window frames, as well as pre-consumer aluminium scrap from extrusion production, into low-carbon, high quality aluminium billets, EGA said.

Aluminium scrap for the recycling facility will mainly be sourced from the UAE and the wider region. More than half the aluminium scrap generated in the GCC is currently either disposed of or exported, the statement added.

Feasibility studies for the project are underway. Production ramp-up could begin as early as 2024, the company revealed.

Production of aluminium through recycling requires a fraction of the energy consumed to produce new primary aluminium, with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of production as a result. The International Aluminium Institute forecasts that recycled aluminium will account for up to 60 per cent of global aluminium supply by 2050, the statement pointed out.

Commenting on the announcement, Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said, “End users of aluminium – from auto manufacturers to beverage makers – are increasingly committing to net zero in response to the expectations of society. This, our first recycling facility at EGA to produce EternAL, is one of the steps we plan to take to provide low carbon metal for our customers around the world.

“This facility will also strengthen EGA’s position as global leader in billet production, growing our capacity from some 1.15 million tonnes per year to some 1.3 million tonnes amid ever-increasing demand from our customers for this value-added product. And at home in the UAE, it will enable EGA to make a further contribution to both the achievement of Operation 300bn and the success of the InCountry Value programme, creating opportunities in construction and through the replacement of some imported raw materials with recyclable resources already in the UAE.” Aluminium is light, strong, durable, electrically and thermally conductive, formable and infinitely recyclable. These qualities make it ideal for applications from electric vehicles to windfarms to mass transit systems that are essential to reach net zero while improving living standards. The International Aluminium Institute forecasts that global aluminium demand will rise by 50 to 80 per cent by 2050 driven by global commitments to reduce emissions while furthering economic growth.

Last year, EGA began marketing aluminium made with the power of the desert sun under the product name “CelestiAL,” said the EGA statement.

Meanwhile the Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas recently announced the company recruited more than 100 UAE nationals in 2021. The average age of the recruits was 24 years old.

Almost 1,200 UAE nationals now work at EGA. Over 700 of EGA’s Emirati employees are under the age of 35, the company said in a statement.

At the end of 2021, EGA’s in-focus Emiratisation rate was around 40 per cent. When considering the high number of blue-collar positions in heavy industry, EGA has one of the highest Emiratisation rates of any major company. Almost 40 per cent of those holding the top 280 positions at EGA are UAE Nationals, it said.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed over 100 UAE Nationals in 2021, the vast majority young people at the start of their careers whom we hope to develop and retain for decades to come. EGA has focused on Emiratisation for more than 40 years, building our talent pipeline for the future and contributing to the development of the UAE’s economy.”

In 2021, EGA successfully recruited 18 UAE nationals to its graduate programme. Graduates receive 18 or 24 months of training to equip them with the tools needed to take on a permanent leading position at EGA. Some 73 UAE nationals were recruited in 2021 to EGA’s two-year National Training programmes. The 73 trainees are involved in separate training programmes, ranging from 6 to 36 months, which prepare young Emiratis for technical roles in the company’s smelters and power plants. The National Training Smelter programme was developed in collaboration with and sponsored by the Human Resources Authority – Abu Dhabi. More than 5,000 UAE nationals have graduated from EGA’s National Training programmes since their establishment in 1982. Some 17 UAE nationals joined EGA as experienced hires in 2021.

Additionally, under the ‘Train for Work’ programme Cohort 2, funded by and in collaboration with Mubadala Investment Company, EGA committed to train and develop 40 further UAE nationals. Trainees will be given the opportunity to join EGA upon successful completion of the two-year programme.



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