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EGA hosts world leading alumina experts for global technical forum in Dubai

EGA hosts world leading alumina experts for global technical forum in Dubai

Wednesday, May 1, 2024/ Editor -  


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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: 1 May 2024Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has hosted the world's leading alumina experts for a global technical forum in Dubai, the first time the event has been held outside major alumina producer Australia.

The Alumina Quality Workshop conference and exhibition has run every three years since 1988, and brings together hundreds of the world's leading engineers, technologists and academics to advance the technical development of the alumina industry. The event in Dubai focused particularly on decarbonisation and wider sustainability, with participants from as far afield as Australia, Vietnam and the United States.

EGA made alumina refining a new industrial activity in the UAE in 2019, with the start of production at the company's Al Taweelah alumina refinery following an investment of some $3.3 billion in its development. The refinery converts bauxite ore into alumina, the feedstock for aluminium smelters.

Continuous improvement has seen production increase to 2.48 million tonnes of alumina in 2023, well beyond Al Taweelah alumina refinery's initial design capacity.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: 'Innovation and continuous improvement have been foundations of EGA's global success for decades, including more recently in alumina refining. Industry cooperation is an important way technical advances that benefit all are made. Bringing together the world's leading technical experts also enables us to further deepen the expertise of the UAE National talent EGA has developed for key roles in the UAE's alumina refining industry.'

Dr Steven Rosenberg, Director of Bauxite Residue Research at EGA and Chair of the AQW Executive Committee, said: 'As a young scientist, I submitted a technical paper to the very first AQW in 1988. I am proud that we have now held the first AQW outside Australia in the UAE, sharing our technical experience from one of the world's most modern alumina refineries, and learning from others to continuously improve.'

EGA began developing UAE Nationals for key roles at Al Taweelah alumina refinery when the project was still on the drawing board. Today around 100 UAE Nationals work at the plant, from Executive-level to frontline shift supervisors.

The award for best technical paper at AQW 2024 was won by a team led by Sami Al Bastaki, a senior manager in process engineering at Al Taweelah alumina refinery.

More than 60 technical papers were presented at AQW in total.

The University of Szeged in Hungary, which works with EGA on research to find productive uses for bauxite residue, a waste stream from alumina refining, won the award for best academic paper.

The conference featured a Net-Zero Alumina workshop which brought together a team of 55 experts from across the global alumina industry on this topic for the first time. Research partners and suppliers joined the workshop to identify key knowledge gaps, challenge assumptions, and suggest new solutions for decarbonising alumina production.

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