- UAE Government announced national Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap at COP26 in Glasgow earlier this month
United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, and GE Gas Power (NYSE: GE) are to develop a roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of EGA’s existing GE natural gas turbines by exploring hydrogen as a fuel, as well as carbon capture, utilisation, and storage solutions.
A memorandum of understanding was signed by Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, and Joseph Anis, President & CEO of GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
EGA has 33 GE natural gas turbines at Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, with a total power generation capacity of 5,200 megawatts. Electricity generation accounts for a significant proportion of EGA’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The MoU between EGA and GE is in line with the ambitions of the UAE Government’s Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, unveiled earlier this month in Glasgow during COP26. The roadmap will include development of a strategy to support low-carbon industries to contribute towards the achievement of the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, said: “Decarbonising industries is a major pillar of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative, therefore EGA’s plan to switch to hydrogen fuel and expand the use of carbon capture, utilisation and storage solutions supports our net-zero drive. With its efforts to reduce the emission intensity of its operations, EGA is a role model in environmental sustainability for the UAE’s industrial companies.”
The MoU is the first GE Gas Power has entered globally to help explore potential solutions to lower the carbon footprint of power generation operations in the aluminium sector. EGA and GE intend to set up a joint steering committee to create and drive the decarbonisation roadmap forward.
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said, “Aluminium has an important role to play in the development of a more sustainable society, and it also matters how sustainably aluminium is made. Aluminium smelting is energy intensive, and generating the electricity required accounts for more than half the global aluminium industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. This work with GE will enable us to determine how we can reduce the carbon intensity of our power generation over the years ahead including by switching to hydrogen, and is an important step in our journey to ensure EGA’s aluminium can play its full part in helping the world tackle the generational challenge of climate change. It will also contribute to the achievement of the UAE’s Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap.”
The decarbonisation roadmap will include the following areas:
- Hydrogen: Explore options for replacing natural gas with hydrogen and hydrogen-blended fuels for combustion in EGA’s GE turbines
- Carbon capture, utilisation and storage: Explore the potential to integrate this technology into EGA’s power plants and implement the necessary changes required to the auxiliary and balance of plant systems
Joseph Anis, President & CEO of GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said: “GE has been honoured to support EGA by providing advanced power generation solutions for over 40 years and we are delighted to collaborate with them to accelerate their transition to a cleaner energy future. Using hydrogen as a fuel and adopting carbon capture, utilisation and storage solutions could not only enable EGA to lower the carbon emissions from its electricity production, but also help to continue providing firm power on demand, supplying the reliable energy required to support their operations and growth. The initiative can serve as a model to emulate across various energy-intensive industries that require dependable, low carbon power generation capacity.”
EGA is the world’s biggest ‘premium’ aluminium producer and the company’s metal is the largest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas.
EGA has captive power plants at both Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah to meet its electricity needs, and is the biggest electricity generator in the UAE after the Dubai and Abu Dhabi utilities.
The MoU is a continuation of the companies’ joint efforts to enhance the sustainability of EGA’s operations. In 2017, EGA announced a reduction in its NOx emissions by 16 percent based on full yearly running hours, the equivalent of removing 450,000 cars from the UAE’s roads. The 100-day project was part of the Government Accelerators Program and the largest contribution to the reduction came from the installation of GE’s water injection skid to a GE 9B gas turbine at EGA’s Jebel Ali power plant.
Contacts at EGA:
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Since 1975, when it was founded as Dubai Aluminium by His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Global Aluminium has been innovating aluminium to make modern life possible.
Today EGA is the world’s biggest ‘premium aluminium’ producer and the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside the oil and gas industry.
EGA is equally-owned by Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi and the Investment Corporation of Dubai. It is the largest company jointly owned by the two Emirates.
EGA is an integrated aluminium producer, with operations from bauxite mining to the production of cast primary aluminium. EGA operates aluminium smelters in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, an alumina refinery in Al Taweelah and a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in the Republic of Guinea.
EGA’s aluminium is the second largest made-in-the UAE export after oil and gas. In 2020, EGA sold 2.52 million tonnes of cast metal. EGA is the only UAE producer and makes the UAE the fifth largest aluminium producing nation in the world.
EGA has more than 400 customers in over 50 countries. In recent years over 80 per cent of EGA’s production has been value added products, one of the highest proportions of any aluminium company in the world. In 2020, value added products made up 72 per cent of total sales despite EGA’s flexing of its product mix in response to fluctuating market demand caused by COVID-19’s impact on world manufacturing.
EGA’s aluminium is primarily used in the construction, automotive, packaging, aerospace and electronics industries.
Around 10 per cent of EGA’s aluminium production is sold in the UAE to around 26 downstream aluminium companies that make products with EGA’s aluminium. The growing broader aluminium sector in the UAE supports 60,950 jobs. EGA itself employs over 7,000 of these people including almost 1,200 UAE Nationals.
EGA has focused on technology development for over 25 years. EGA has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s and has retrofitted all its older production lines. In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to licence its core industrial process technology internationally.
As a corporate citizen of the UAE, EGA aspires in all its operations to be measured amongst the world’s leading metals and mining companies in meeting its environmental and social responsibilities. In 2017, EGA became the first Middle East headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a global programme to foster greater sustainability and transparency in the aluminium industry. In 2019, EGA’s Al Taweelah site became the first in the Middle East to receive certification from ASI for its sustainability practices and performance. ASI certification is the aluminium industry’s internationally recognised standard for environmental and social performance and governance.
In 2021, EGA began production of CelestiAL solar aluminium, produced with solar power from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park on the outskirts of Dubai. EGA is the first company in the world to make aluminium commercially using the power of the sun.
EGA was formed in 2014 through the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Emirates Aluminium.
EGA’s Jebel Ali aluminium smelter began production as DUBAL in 1979. At almost five square kilometres, this site is five times bigger than Dubai Mall.
EMAL started production in 2009 and its Al Taweelah aluminium smelter was the largest single-site aluminium smelter in the world when completed. EGA’s Al Taweelah site is five times bigger than Al Maryah Island at six square kilometres.
EGA has its own power stations at both sites, producing electricity to meet its needs. EGA’s electricity generation capacity is 5,450 megawatts, making EGA the third largest electricity generator in the UAE after the Dubai and Abu Dhabi utilities. EGA also produces water through desalination units at its power plants.
EGA began production at Al Taweelah alumina refinery in April 2019. EGA’s alumina refinery is the first in the UAE and only the second in the Middle East. The project reduces the UAE’s dependence on imported alumina and supplies 40 per cent of EGA’s needs.
Bauxite exports from Guinea Alumina Corporation, EGA’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Guinea, began in August 2019. The GAC project was one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in over 40 years.
For more information on EGA please visit www.ega.ae.
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© Press Release 2021