Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has started production at the UAE’s first alumina refinery. The facility is located in the Kizad free zone area close to Khalifa Port, and imports of bauxite to feed the new refinery are expected to increase significantly as a result over the next few years, boosting dry bulk volumes for Abu Dhabi Ports.
The new Al Taweelah alumina refinery will convert around five million tonnes of bauxite into alumina a year once it is fully operational. Bauxite for the project will be imported from Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. The first bauxite exports are expected during the second half of this year and will be offloaded at a dedicated berth within the Khalifa Port complex.
Towards the end of 2017, EGA signed a long-term port facility agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to use some of the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels to import raw materials through Khalifa Port. Under the terms of the agreement Abu Dhabi Ports is funding dredging and widening works for the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin including EGA’s berth. The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5m. EGA plans to use large Capesize dry bulk ships to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.