Through the years, Emirates Global Aluminium has been developing its own core smelter technology. The UAE company had made its first licensing deal on the in-house technology with Aluminium Bahrain, back in 2016. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE’s Emirates Global Aluminium could consider investments in an aluminium smelter expansion project in Indonesia. This follows a deal signed by EGA with Indonesia Asahan Aluminium (Inalum), by which the former gets exclusive rights to license its technology to the Indonesian entity’s smelter expansion works.

Along with this comes the ‘right to invest in the project and offtake metal'. EGA has already completed a series of similar upgrades at its production sites in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah through the years.

EGA will have the exclusive right to licence the ‘DX+ Ultra’ smelting technology to Inalum on a commercial basis for the Kuala Tanjung smelter located in North Sumatra, ‘should the project prove feasible’. EGA has developed its own smelting technology in the UAE for more than 30 years. It was the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally, in a deal with Aluminium Bahrain in 2016.

Emirates Global Aluminium is the UAE's biggest industrial facility outside of the oil and gas space.

The deal with Inalum opens up the possibility for EGA to take a stake in the smelter expansion. Image Credit: Supplied

EGA also has the right to take a minority equity stake in the project, and offtake much of the produced metal. “EGA’s requirement for an investment or metal offtake is that the project uses renewable power,” said a statement. (The existing aluminium Kuala Tanjung smelter uses electricity generated with hydropower.)

The expansion is expected to bring on a capacity of more than 400,000 tonnes of aluminium per year. This, of course, depends on the outcome of a feasibility study funded by EGA and Inalum.

“A potential investment in the Kuala Tanjung brownfield expansion, and the offtake of metal, would progress our growth in low carbon aluminium that will make modern life possible around the world while protecting our planet for future generations,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA.

EGA and Inalum are already working on a potential upgrade using EGA technological know-how of the existing aluminium smelter at Kuala Tanjung. This was as per an agreement signed in 2020. The project aims to boost production from the existing reduction cells by around 20,000 tonnes per year, or by around 10 per cent. Design work for a pilot section of the project has been completed.