United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, is saving around AED 5 million in energy costs each year by implementing energy conservation ideas from shopfloor staff.
The ideas range from new efficiencies at EGA’s smelters to optimizing heating and cooling processes in order to reduce power consumption.
EGA has implemented 24 energy saving ideas from staff over the past two years.
The biggest single employee idea, which led to savings of AED 2.7 million, was to recover waste heat energy from associated steam generators on site and convert it into useable energy.
The idea was initiated by process efficiency team long time back, however tested by a Master/PhD student team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to justify safe economical operation before implementation. EGA’s research and development team has long-standing partnerships with local and international academic institutions to develop ideas.
Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at EGA, said: “Aluminium smelting is energy intensive, so energy efficiency is an important factor in EGA’s global competitiveness. We have made big energy savings at EGA through the development of our core technology over decades, but many small ideas can also make a difference in energy use. We encourage staff to come up with ideas for improvement across our business, including in energy efficiency.”
EGA has operated an employee suggestion scheme since 1981.
Last year, EGA employees submitted a record 34,419 ideas through the suggestion scheme, leading to savings of AED 36 million.
EGA has developed its own technology in the UAE for over 25 years.. In 2016, EGA became the first UAE industrial company to licence its core industrial process technology internationally. Today, EGA’s home-grown technology is amongst the most efficient in the global aluminium industry
EGA recently commissioned a national survey which showed that employees in the UAE believe their companies are becoming more innovative, but are failing to unlock the innovation potential of their entire workforces. The survey also found that people working in the UAE believe that the country is more innovative than it was five years ago.