Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has signed a long-term port facility agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) to use some of the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels to import raw materials through Khalifa Port. As a result of this agreement, ADP will be able to develop the port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling large Capesize bulk carriers.
ADP will fund the completion of dredging and widening works to the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin, including EGA’s berth. The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5 m and the turning basin to 18 m and will facilitate EGA’s plans to use large bulkers to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, thereby reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.
The dredging and other developments at Khalifa Port are expected to lead to larger ships generally calling into Abu Dhabi, creating new trade opportunities, supporting local industries and boosting the Emirate’s position as a global maritime trade hub.
It is expected that EGA will use Capesize vessels to ship bauxite ore, the feedstock for alumina refineries, from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. Currently, EGA is constructing UAE’s first alumina refinery next to its aluminium smelter in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, located adjacent to Khalifa Port, ensuring streamlined logistics. Upon achieving full production, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will process 5 million tonnes of bauxite per annum.
EGA Managing Director and Chief Executive, Abdulla Kalban, said: “Dredging Khalifa Port to allow fully-laden Capesize vessels to reach EGA’s berth will reduce our costs, simplify our bauxite supply chain and improve our environmental performance. I am also pleased that the enhanced capabilities at Khalifa Port will enable broader trade and economic benefits for Abu Dhabi.”
EGA’s site is the biggest industrial facility at KIZAD and the Al Taweelah refinery will produce 2 million tonnes of alumina per year, meeting 40 per cent of EGA’s requirements for feedstock for aluminium smelters. Bauxite ore from Guinea will be transported to Abu Dhabi by the global shipping firm K-Line, under a separate agreement with EGA.