Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has purchased Clean Energy Certificates for 1.1 million megawatt hours of electricity supplied by Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC), supporting EGA’s production of CelestiAL solar aluminium.
The certificates track the use of solar power from Noor Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest single-site solar power plants. Noor Abu Dhabi is located at Sweihan, and has 3.2 million solar panels generating approximately one gigawatt of electricity.
The transaction is the largest acquisition to date of Clean Energy Certificates that track the use of solar power in Abu Dhabi, and will certify EGA’s production of around 80,000 tonnes of CelestiAL. The volume of CelestiAL EGA produces each year depends on solar power imports from the electricity grid.
The generation of the electricity required for aluminium production accounts for approximately 60 per cent of the global aluminium industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. The use of solar power by EGA significantly reduces these emissions in line with the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “This agreement provides EGA with a new source of certified solar power for the production of our CelestiAL solar aluminium. I thank EWEC for their partnership, and for their leadership in the development of solar power in Abu Dhabi. The launch of CelestiAL solar aluminium last year was a landmark for EGA and our industry. CelestiAL and other low carbon metal is key to our sustainable future – both for our company and our world.
Othman Al Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Water and Electricity Company, said: “EWEC is actively pursuing an ambitious energy transition plan, developing record-size solar power generation capacities to serve our current and future partners. We are proud of our strategic partnership with EGA to support the decarbonisation of their industry in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative objectives. We look forward to our continued collaboration with EGA and together playing a key role in the realisation of the UAE’s economic and sustainability agenda. Clean Energy Certificates connect demand for renewables with supply. We are glad to now have EGA as a customer for solar energy produced from our world-leading solar energy projects.
Clean Energy Certificates are issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy and conform to International Renewable Energy Certificate standards and best practices. EWEC is one of the key parties enabling the implementation of the scheme and operates auctions selling certificates for both solar and nuclear generated electricity in Abu Dhabi. Clean Energy Certificates are the only accredited method in Abu Dhabi to prove ownership of the environmental and economic benefits achieved by using renewable and clean energy.
EGA currently exchanges limited amounts of power with the grid, to optimise power generation efficiency. Earlier in 2022, EGA announced a strategic initiative with TAQA, Dubal Holding and EWEC to divest its natural gas-fired power assets and instead source all its electricity from the grid, including an increasing proportion of clean energy. The initiative would unlock significant further development of solar power within EWEC’s fleet, allowing power asset and grid optimisations, and enabling EGA to vastly increase its import of solar power and therefore production of CelestiAL.
EGA became the first company in the world to produce aluminium using solar power in 2021, through an agreement with Dubai Electricity & Water Authority. EGA produced almost 39 thousand tonnes of CelestiAL last year. EGA’s customers for the metal include BMW Group and Hammerer Aluminum Industries, a tier 1 supplier of Mercedes-Benz.
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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 2021, EGA sold 2.54 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 2021, value-added products accounted for 84 per cent of EGA’s cast metal sales. 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. EGA’s Jebel Ali site was certified in 2021. 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 6,474 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 over 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.
About Emirates Water and Electricity Company
Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) drives the planning, forecasting, purchase and supply of water and electricity in Abu Dhabi and beyond. EWEC performs its role as the sole procurer of water and electricity from independent producers, ensuring the short- and long-term balancing of bulk supply and demand for distribution companies. EWEC is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy. For more information, please visit www.ewec.ae.