As in prior years, the role of the UAE primary aluminium sector within the global industry will again be promoted by Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL) and Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) at the 28th International Aluminium Conference, organised and hosted by Metal Bulletin in Geneva, Switzerland, from 16 to 18 September 2013 (MBI 2013).
The two businesses will have a combined stand in the exhibition component alongside the conference, and Yousuf Bastaki, EMAL's Vice President: Projects, is among the line-up in the opening session's executive industry panel - the focus of which will fall on global industry challenges and strategies.
Eminently qualified to participate at this forum, Bastaki has more than 25 years smelting industry experience and lead the team responsible for the construction of EMAL Phases I and II, which is set to become one of the largest single-site aluminium smelters in the world.
He previously held several senior positions at DUBAL, including Manager Senior Projects, and General Manager of Engineering and Technical Division.
Touted as the premier international forum for understanding industry dynamics and uncovering market potential, the annual MBI events attract 500-plus key industry decision-makers from around the world — thus offering excellent opportunities for networking and deal-making. Aiming to maximize the exposure offered by the forum, the joint DUBAL-EMAL exhibition stand will showcase the two companies and promote their product portfolios.
DUBAL produces billets for construction, industrial, transportation and forging purposes in automotive industries; high-purity aluminium ingots for use in the electronics and aerospace industries; and foundry alloy ingots, which are absorbed primarily by the automotive sector. EMAL's product portfolio also includes extrusion billets for construction and transportation applications; foundry ingots, used in the automotive sector; and sheet ingots, which are primarily destined for the packaging industry, lithographic sheets and the automotive industry.
A state-owned enterprise, DUBAL owns and operates a one million metric tonne per annum primary aluminium smelter at Jebel Ali, Dubai — one of the largest single-site operations of its kind in the world — and in 2012 produced 1,025,266 tonnes of hot metal. The company is renowned internationally for its premium purity, high quality products and services; as well as its commitment to sustainable development through conscious efforts to maximise the health and safety people, reduce the impact of its operations on the environment, and invest in the social and economic development of the community.
Dedicated programmes support the Emiratization goals of the UAE, including targeted recruitment, skills development, management training and strategic career planning. Approximately 92% of DUBAL's annual production is exported to over 300 customers in at least 57 countries across the globe, the company's key markets being Asia, Europe, the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region and The Americas.
EMAL is being built in two phases at Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi. Energizing of t he 756 reduction cells energized in EMAL Phase I, with a total capacity of 750,000 tonnes per annum, took place between 1 December 2009 and 31 December 2010 — with full production being reached four months ahead of schedule, yet within budget. EMAL's high quality products are currently supplied to more than 150 customers around the world. EMAL Phase II was announced in July 2011. A new 444-cell potline has been built and commissioning is scheduled for mid-September this year. The additional smelting capacity, together with a technology upgrade of the existing cells that has already boosted production levels of EMAL Phase I by 50,000 tonnes per year, will increase EMAL's annual production capacity to 1.3 million tonnes by 2014.
EMAL enjoys a strong reputation for sound safety management, wellbeing programmes for its employees and adopting global best practices to minimize its environmental footprint — the latter entrenched through the implementation of DUBAL's in-house developed DX Reduction Technology, which offers enhanced energy efficiency and productivity levels yet lower environmental emissions than comparative technologies. These attributes are complemented by initiatives to harness Emirati talent through job-creation, engaging the community in corporate activities and celebrating the national and cultural heritage of the UAE.
Confirming the contribution of the UAE to the global industry, the combined 1.84 million tonnes of primary aluminium products manufactured in the UAE in 2012 represents almost 4% of the estimated 47.1 million metric tonnes of annual global production. It's also 50% of the 3.7 million metric tonnes produced in the greater Gulf region (itself equivalent to 7.8% of global production in 2012).
The location of MBI 2013 in Switzerland is a further motivator for the UAE smelter's participation in the event. That's because the European market has accounted for a sizeable (and growing) portion of annual sales since DUBAL first started selling aluminium into the region 17 years ago. In 2012, nearly 212,000 tonnes of DUBAL metal was sold to customers in Europe. In the same year around 220,000 tonnes of EMAL metal was sold - a combined total of 436,000 tonnes. The largest proportion of the metal sold comprises of billet and foundry re-melt products to customers in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, France and Greece. DUBAL and EMAL's commitment to the region has been firmly demonstrated by building the infrastructure to support on-time delivery to customers across Europe; and the establishment of dedicated marketing and sales offices in Switzerland and Italy.
Importantly, the European Commission in mid-July 2013 approved the integration of DUBAL and EMAL as assets of the newly-established Emirates Global Aluminium (a new company jointly owned in equal shareholding by Mubadala and Investment Corporation of Dubai). Pending required approvals, the formal commencement of joint operations is expected to be completed within the first half of 2014. Further announcements relating to Emirates Global Aluminium and the integration of the two businesses will be made as matters evolve.