Aluminium giant EGA highlights efficiency gains at WETEX 2014

Reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions underline commitment to sustainability

UAE-based aluminium giant Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), one of the strategic sponsors of the annual Water Energy Technology and Environment Exhibition, WETEX 2014, says its efforts to improve operating efficiencies through technological innovation are paying off handsomely, resulting in significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over the past three years.

Held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 14 to 16 April, the focus of WETEX 2014 was on advanced technologies in the areas of energy, water, and environment. To support the Dubai government’s Vision 2030 and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy’s commitments to innovation and sustainability. EGA was able to showcase best practices in its DX and DX+ reduction cell technologies that were developed in-house and not only increase productivity, but also reduce the impact of smelter operations on the environment through improved energy efficiency and minimised emission levels.

EGA is the jointly-owned aluminium conglomerate formed by Mubadala Development Corporation and Investment Corporation of Dubai that combines two of the UAE's flagship industrial companies, Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) and Emirates Aluminium (EMAL).

EGA’s Vice President: Power & Desalination, Tayeb Al Awadhi, highlighted the ways that the company’s Jebel Ali operations have made significant efficiency gains by implementing an integrated approach, which includes high standards in safety, energy conservation and environmental and health management.

“As one of the UAE’s industrial leaders, we are committed to advancing technology, conserving water and energy and environmental protection. In support of this, our Jebel Ali complex has achieved remarkable optimisation in station efficiency: it improved by 3% (from 43% in 2010 to 46% in 2013 YTD), resulting in reductions in fuel consumption by 26 million standard cubic feet per day (mscfd) and CO2 emissions by 500 000 tonnes; as well as annual savings of approximately US$25 million,” said Al Awadhi.

The plant’s metal expansion power requirement was first met by installing a unique large co-generation cycle that maximises the existing steam turbines’ generation without the need for additional sea water usage. This project accounts for about 50% of the total energy efficiency optimisation achieved.

Al Awadhi said all large gas turbines running on combined cycles were uprated to new technology designs that resulted in increased electrical power generation and improved thermal efficiency. A further 25% savings was realised through a range of efficiency enhancement initiatives.

With annual production capacity due to reach 2.4 million metric tonnes in 2014, EGA ranks among the leading primary aluminium producers in the world, by volume. The company is internationally renowned for its premium quality, high purity products; and exports over 80 per cent of its production to countries across the globe. Moreover, it has also achieved some of the highest standards in environmental protection, from optimising raw material usage through effective energy-use management, to minimising environmental impact through stringent management of air emissions, effluent discharge and waste.