Full steam ahead - Emirates Global Aluminum's Al Taweelah facility struck production records, which helped sustain the demand for its value-added products. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: One of the UAE’s industrial showpieces, Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) recorded a profit of Dh1.74 billion for the first six months of 2021 – more than double the Dh653 million from last year. The gains were led by the firming up in global metal prices as well as gains for EGA’s higher margin value-added products.

Apart from demand, the EGA numbers were given a boost by “production records” at the Al Taweelah alumina refinery and its Guinea Alumina Corporation. Overall revenue topped Dh10.8 billion, a more prosaic gain on the Dh9.7 billion in second-half of 2020 and Dh9 billion first-half 2020.

The benchmark London Metal Exchange price for aluminium averaged $2,245 per tonne in the first-half of 2021, compared to $1,812 in during the second-half of 2020 and $1,592 per tonne in the first six months of last year.

I am confident that EGA’s performance will continue to improve, making EGA increasingly attractive should our shareholders decide to proceed with an initial public offering, which would be one of the UAE’s largest ever

- Abdulnasser Bin Kalban of EGA

Economies in rebound

“Global demand for aluminium, the metal that makes modern life possible, is high as economies rebound from COVID-19,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO. “The commitment of many Governments around the world to build back better for future societal resilience means the long-term outlook for the aluminium market is good.

“Our focus on ‘premium aluminium’, made to customer specifications for the applications in which it will be used, positions us well to benefit from this increased demand.”

“Although our financial performance in the first-half of 2021 was EGA’s best ever, we could have done even better. Our metal production was slightly lower, and we are upgrading our carbon plants and debottlenecking elsewhere to return to metal output growth.

"Like many other industrial companies, we were also affected by global logistics challenges including container availability. We are adopting different approaches in response such as break-bulk shipping."

“Al Taweelah alumina refinery continued its world-class performance, exceeding nameplate capacity just two years after start-up,” said Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO. Image Credit: Supplied
Some refinancing too
Recently, EGA refinanced $5.5 billion in corporate debt, thus dropping its debt load by an impressive $1 billion and improving repayment terms. This will allow an "optimal dividend policy in future years for shareholders".