Dubai: The first shipments of aluminium made in the UAE using solar power will soon show up in a BMW luxury car.
The BMW Group has just been confirmed as the first customer for Emirates Global Aluminium’s 'CelestiAL' aluminium, which is made by tapping the sun's energy. Using the 'solar aluminium' from EGA will reduce BMW Group’s emissions by 222,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
EGA will supply 43,000 tonnes of CelestiAL aluminium to BMW Group each year. The contract is worth a "three-digit million euro sum".
The CelestiAL range is made using electricity generated at Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, located outside Dubai and operated by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. EGA began production of CelestiAL earlier this month - the first time solar power was used to produce aluminium commercially anywhere in the world.
Full steam ahead
EGA’s CelestiAL metal will cover almost half the annual requirements of the German carmaker's Landshut plant - BMW Group’s only production facility for light metal casting in Europe. Last year, Plant Landshut produced 2.9 million cast metal components, including engine parts such as cylinder heads and crankcases, parts for electric drive trains, and vehicle body parts.
EGA has supplied metal to BMW Group since 2013 for use in the German carmaker’s engines and other parts. EGA will supply 43,000 tonnes of CelestiAL aluminium to BMW Group per year.
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, said in a statement: "Aluminium is lightweight, strong and infinitely recyclable, and that is why it has an important role to play in developing a more sustainable society and making modern life possible. One key example of this is by improving the efficiency of vehicles through reducing their weight.
"But it also matters how sustainably aluminium is made. Solar aluminium is a step forward – using a natural and abundant source of energy in our desert environment to make a metal that is vital to our planet’s future.”