Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company outside oil and gas, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi Ports, to work together to develop opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports to upgrade ports, logistics infrastructure and services abroad used by EGA to load raw materials destined for the UAE.
The agreement could lead to new international business opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports, enable more efficient shipping for EGA, and spur economic growth around the ports by creating opportunities for other trade.
The agreement was signed at EGA’s headquarters at Al Taweelah in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports, and Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA.
Captain Al Shamisi said: “What we want to create are win-win-win opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports, EGA, and port operators and their communities around the world. Abu Dhabi Ports’ expertise in developing ports and interest in investing internationally, combined with EGA’s demand to use port facilities, should make upgrade projects economically attractive to the benefit of everybody. We greatly anticipate the potential chance to showcase our capabilities in foreign ports and to expand our presence overseas.”
Abdulla Kalban said: “EGA already works with Abu Dhabi Ports at Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi and at Kamsar in the Republic of Guinea. This MoU paves the way for further opportunities through which Abu Dhabi Ports can develop its international business, whilst lowering EGA’s shipping costs through the upgrading of the ports that we use. Securing raw materials at competitive prices depends not just on good relationships with suppliers but also on ease of shipping, so we look forward to developing these opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports to invest to the benefit of both our businesses and the local economies around these ports.”
In December EGA signed a long-term port facility agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to import bauxite for EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery at Khalifa Port using the world’s largest bulk cargo ships, known as Capesize vessels.
The agreement, and the security of demand it creates, is enabling Abu Dhabi Ports to invest to develop the port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling these massive ships, reducing EGA’s shipping costs and opening opportunities for other trade. The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5 metres and basin to 18.0 metres basis zero tide. EGA plans to use large dry bulk ships to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.
EGA shipped approximately 6 million tonnes of bulk raw materials such as alumina, coke and pitch from some 20 ports worldwide last year. Bottlenecks at ports that can reduce the efficiency of shipping can range from shallow channels that only allow smaller vessels to berth, to manual rather than automatic loading, to limited rail capacity reaching the port itself.
Abu Dhabi Ports is the operator of a container quay that EGA has built at Kamsar in Guinea. EGA is using the quay to unload materials and equipment for the construction of a bauxite mine. Once construction is complete, the container quay will be opened to other trade. EGA’s site is the biggest industrial facility at KIZAD and covers an area five times the size of Al Marayah Island in Abu Dhabi. EGA also operates an aluminium smelter at Jebel Ali in Dubai.