Al Taweelah alumina refinery
Al Taweelah alumina refinery attained the nameplate capacity switch in record time. Image Credit: Emirates Global Aluminium

Dubai: Emirates Global Aluminium has confirmed production at its new Al Taweelah alumina refinery has achieved nameplate capacity from bauxite to alumina for June, which is a major milestone in the ramp-up of the plant. It was achieved 14 months after alumina production began in April last year.

Alumina refineries convert bauxite to alumina in a four-step process, which in parts exceeds 1,000˚C and 100 times atmospheric pressure. It can take several years or more for new alumina refineries to reach a month of sustained production at design capacity at each step of the process.

“We began preparing for operations back in October 2013, when Al Taweelah alumina refinery was still on the drawing board,” said Zaher Alhabtari, Executive Vice President Upstream and Capital Projects at EGA. “Our careful planning has enabled us to deliver a world-class ramp-up of this important project. We are now focused on the next milestone, which is three consecutive months of production at nameplate capacity.”

The Al Taweelah alumina refinery cost some $3.3 billion to build, and is the first alumina refinery in the UAE. Alumina is the feedstock for aluminium smelters.