Minister of Climate Change visits EGA to view progress of its Government Accelerators Project to fast-track air quality Improvement

  • His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi visits Al Taweelah smelter on Day 31 of 100-day project to reduce EGA’s NOx emissions by 10 per cent
  • Project will enhance air quality at a rate similar to taking 280,000 cars off UAE roads

United Arab Emirates: His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, today visited Emirates Global Aluminium’s Al Taweelah smelter, where he was received at EGA by Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA.

His Excellency received an update on the progress in EGA’s Government Accelerators project to deliver significant reductions in NOx emissions in just 100 days. EGA’s project, in partnership with the Ministry and GE, is to reduce its NOx emissions by 10 per cent by the end of February.

Achieving this major technical and engineering feat will be equivalent to removing 280,000 cars and their emissions from UAE roads.

EGA is participating in the Government Accelerators programme, an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, to achieve rapid progress in meeting Government objectives.

EGA’s project is one of five in the first round of the Government Accelerators programme, and the only one undertaken by an industrial company.

NOx contributes to poor air quality and is emitted by motor vehicles. NOx is also emitted by EGA’s power plants which produce electricity for use in aluminium smelting, an energy intensive industry. EGA is the third largest electricity generator in the UAE after DEWA and ADWEA. EGA’s newer power plant, Al Taweelah, has amongst the lowest NOx emissions of any power plant in the Middle East.

The reductions will be achieved by innovative optimisation of power plant operations and maintenance, upgrading gas turbines, and creating sustainable ways of sharing power capacity between EGA’s Al Taweelah power plant and the Abu Dhabi grid.

His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi said: “Air quality is one of the priorities in the UAE because of its health, economic and environmental impacts, where the National Agenda aims at raising the rate of air quality in the UAE from around 70% at present to 90% by 2021. We believe that state of the art technology and innovative practices and tools are an important and essential part of the spectrum of solutions to deal with the growing challenges that we face in our quest to achieve our national aspirations. We are confident that EGA’s team is well capable of achieving this scale of improvement in just 100 days and EGA has the support of the Ministry in making this ambitious goal a reality.”

EGA has focused on technology development for the past 25 years to improve the efficiency of its core aluminium smelting process, reducing the amount of electricity required to produce each tonne of aluminium and both cost and environmental impacts.

EGA’s latest technology is amongst the least energy intensive in the global aluminium industry. EGA licensed its technology earlier this year to Aluminium Bahrain, the first time any UAE industrial company had sold its core industrial technology internationally.

Starting in 2010, EGA developed and implemented a rolling five-year carbon reduction strategy. EGA’s CO2 emissions today are lower than a standard under discussion by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative for responsible operators of existing smelters to achieve by 2030.

Emissions of Per-Fluoro Compounds, another greenhouse gas, are amongst the lowest in the world. EGA met a voluntary industry target to reduce PFC emissions last year, five years early.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “We are under no illusions about the challenge of making such a significant leap forward in environmental performance in such a short time, but we are confident that we can get it done. We are honoured that EGA has been chosen as one of the first to participate in His Highness’s Government Accelerators programme.”