Abdulla Kalban becomes first Arab aluminium industry expert to lead international forum
In a move that clearly acknowledges both the growing importance of the Middle East as an aluminium industry hub and the wealth of industry expertise in the region, Abdulla Kalban (Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC (“EGA”) ) has been elected as Chairman of the International Aluminium Institute (“IAI”) for the next two years. A UAE National, Kalban is the first Arab to hold this prestigious portfolio.
Having joined the aluminium industry in 1985, Kalban has 29 years’ experience in the sector and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role (indeed, he has the most industry experience relative to his peers in other aluminium producing companies). He began his career as a special entry graduate at Dubai Aluminium (“DUBAL”) and rose rapidly through the ranks to become Chief Executive Officer of DUBAL in 2005, then President and Chief Executive Officer in 2008. He played an instrumental role in the establishment of Emirates Aluminium (“EMAL”) and EGA – the latter being the new aluminium conglomerate formed by Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi and Investment Corporation of Dubai through the combination of their aluminium industry interests – and was appointed to his current role at the helm of EGA upon the company’s official incorporation in 2014. He currently manages assets valued at more than US$ 15 billion.
Additionally, Kalban is the Chairman of the Gulf Aluminium Council (“GAC”), a Director of the Federal Electricity & Water Authority (“FEWA”), and member of the Board of Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”). He is active on various committees such as The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (“TMS”) and the Dubai Executive Council Committee for Infrastructure & Environment; as well as the Supreme Council of Energy in the UAE. He was formerly a Director of the IAI, and Vice Chairman of EMAL
Founded in 1972, the key objectives of the IAI are “to increase the market for aluminium by enhancing world-wide awareness of its unique and valuable qualities; provide a global forum for aluminium producers on matters of common concern and liaising with regional and national aluminium associations to achieve efficient and cost effective co-operation; identify issues of relevance to the production, use and recycling of aluminium and promoting appropriate research and other action concerning them; encourage and assist continuous progress in the healthy, safe and environmentally sound production of aluminium; collect statistical and other relevant information and communicating it to the industry and its principle stakeholders; and communicate the views and positions of the aluminium industry to international agencies and other relevant parties”. The IAI also provides a platform for the aluminium industry to promote wider understanding of its activities, demonstrate its responsibility in producing the metal, and highlight the potential benefits of using aluminium in sustainable applications and through recycling. The current IAI membership represents over 60 per cent of global bauxite, alumina an aluminium production. The IAI’s activities are directed and governed by its Board of Directors, with each member company having a representative (usually at executive management level).