Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), based in the UAE, has a long legacy of developing aluminum smelting technology designed to increase production while limiting the amount energy required. Since the 1990s, the company has developed and implemented its own cell technologies throughout its smelters, including both expansions and retrofits of existing lines.
EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally in 2016, when it signed a deal with Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) for the use of DX cell technology in the company’s expansion project. Alba started up its new Potline 6 in 2018. The line implemented EGA’s DX+ Ultra technology, which performed better than expected.
In 2020, EGA signed an agreement with NEO Aluminia, which is working to build Colombia’s first primary aluminum production facility. The agreement could lead to the export of EGA’s cell technology to South America.
Recently, EGA has signed new agreements with international aluminum companies, including Alba for continues projects in Bahrain, PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (INALUM) for the use of technology in Indonesia, and Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) for the implementation of the technology in Saudi Arabia.
EGA and Alba signed an MOU to deepen their technology cooperation, under which both aluminum producers will seek avenues of cooperation to creep up production at Alba’s Potline 6 beyond its name-plate design capacity. In addition, the two companies will explore the use pf EGA technology and know-how in future expansions at Alba smelter.
“This MOU cements our technology partnership with EGA, our partner of choice,” said Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa, Alba’s chairman of the board. “We are pleased with the performance of EGA’s DX+ Ultra technology at Potline 6 and keen to work with EGA to further improve our Potline performance. We are also excited to explore other opportunities to deploy EGA technological expertise at our smelter for the potential brownfield expansion of Potline 7, in another close cooperation between our two nations — the Kingdom of Bahrain and United Arab Emirates.”
INALUM signed an MOU with EGA that provides several aspects of cooperations. Under the agreement, the two companies will engage in a feasibility study for the use of EGA’s technology in a planned brownfield expansion of INALUM’s Kuala Tanjung smelter in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The expansion would add up to 400,000 tonnes aluminum production per year.
EGA will also explore the potential to invest in the expansion and off-take metal, should it be developed with renewable energy. The existing aluminum smelter at Kuala Tanjung uses electricity generated with hydropower. The companies will also explore further cooperation opportunities throughout the aluminum value chain.
“This agreement further deepens our cooperation with INALUM, which is based on the potential use of EGA’s technology in a number of development projects in Indonesia,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, chief executive officer at EGA. “Our aim is to grow our position as the technology provider of choice in our industry, developing revenue streams for EGA from technology licensing and potentially further opportunities, while strengthening the relationship between our two countries.”
INALUM has been working with EGA — through an agreement signed in 2020 — on the potential upgrade of existing cells at the Kuala Tanjung using EGA technological expertise. The project aims to boost production from the existing reduction cells by around 20,000 tonnes per year, or by approximately 10%. Design work for a pilot section of the project has been completed.
In addition, EGA and INALUM are in the process of exploring the potential of developing a greenfield aluminum smelter in Indonesia using EGA’s technology.
“We are pleased with the progress of our relationship with EGA, which we are confident will lead to the application of EGA’s leading smelting technology in Indonesia,” said Hendi Prio Santoso, president director of INALUM. “We look forward to further milestones in this brownfield expansion and our other projects in the near future.”
Ma’aden Aluminium signed an agreement with EGA to continue their exploration of potential collaboration on sustainable technology in the aluminum value chain. This new agreement extends an MOU originally signed in 2018.
“Aluminum is one of the world’s most crucial metals for many global industries going into a future that is focused on environment and sustainability,” said Riyadh Al Nassar, senior vice president of Ma’aden’s Aluminium business. “This partnership aims to increase the cooperation between Ma’aden and EGA to work together, including towards more sustainable aluminum production.”
The companies will explore cooperation on the development of aluminum smelting technologies, in particular new technologies with lower greenhouse gas emissions. EGA and Ma’aden will also consider cooperation on the management of by-products from processes along the aluminum value chain, as well as aluminum recycling.
“We are pleased to extend our agreement with Ma’aden on potential cooperation in technology and other development to support further the sustainability of our two companies,” said Kalban. “The successful tackling of big challenges can only be accelerated by companies working together.”