By Deena Kamel Yousef gulfnews.com
Emirates Aluminium (Emal) expects to produce at full capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes by 2014, said a top company official during the Aluminium Dubai trade show on Monday.
Phase two of its smelter in Al Taweelah, which will produce an additional 750,000 tonnes, should be completed by the end of 2013 and start production by 2014, said Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei, Chief Executive of Emal. Approval from the board is expected within the next two months, he added.
Phase two is expected to cost less than Phase 1, although no budget has been announced yet, because the economy dynamics have improved now compared to 2009, he said. Capital investments for Phase 1 reached $5.7 billion.
Natural gas supplies required for the production of aluminium have been secured, he said.
Emal, which allocates 30 per cent of its production to the downstream industry, has signed a contract with two firms for aluminium extrusions, he added, but refused to elaborate on the details of the deals.
In contributing to Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision, the company is increasing its Emiratisation rate, fostering Emirati talent and conducting training and research in aluminium production and downstream industries, said Al Mazrooei. It employs 310 Emiratis across all company levels out of 2000 employees, including 11 female engineers.
No excess stocks are idling in warehouses. “All of our products are sold to the local market and exported,” he said, adding that most of the output is exported.
Commenting on the European tax currently imposed on aluminium, Al Mazrooei said the EU has to be fair to both parties and the matter must be resolved between governments.
Emal has managed to reduce its cost of production to 13.1 per cent kilowatts for each kilogram of aluminium, placing the UAE in the 13th rank of low-cost aluminium producers according to the CRU, an independent business analysis consultancy focused on mining and metals.
“There is an international shift, demand for metal and for aluminium has increased. By 2015 there will be more demand than supply. We hope the Gulf will fill that gap,” Al Mazrooei said.
The global rise in commodity prices has increased the company’s profitability, he added. “We made good money this year.” The GCC has invested a total of $40 billion in the aluminium industry, which will become one of the major sources of industrial and economic diversification for the oil-based economies of the Gulf, Mahmoud Daylami, General Secretary of the Gulf Aluminium Council told Gulf News.
The Aluminium Dubai trade show was inaugurated by Ahmad Al Tayer, Governor of the DIFC, and will run until tomorrow. It is a platform for aluminium producers, suppliers and investors from 50 countries and is expected to draw over 3,000 visitors this year.