Health & Environment

EGA achieves R&D breakthroughs to re-use bauxite residue

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has made significant R&D breakthroughs which will ultimately see all bauxite residue produced in the UAE re-used in the UAE. 
“We have already achieved important success with other by-product streams, such as spent pot lining, which is now a feedstock for the UAE cement industry,” said Abdulnasser bin Kalban, EGA’s Chief Executive Officer, briefing a visiting team from the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) led by its Secretary General Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri.
“EGA is embedding sustainability in everything we do. We work closely with EAD to continuously improve our environmental performance. We are also active members of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, which promotes sustainability best practice in our industry, and have aligned our sustainability strategy with the ASI Performance Standards,” said Kalban.
Sustainability-related innovation
“EGA is at the forefront of sustainability-related innovation - not only through our aluminium made with solar power, which we call CelestiAL, but also though our technical advances such as cooling towers for water discharge, the first of their kind in the region, the current feasibility studies to use green hydrogen across our processes, as well as our biodiversity protection programmes and community engagement work, ” he said.
Dr Al Dhaheri said: ‘’Since our establishment, EAD has been keen to cooperate and build partnerships with industrial sectors to preserve the environment by strengthening and activating its role in implementing federal and local environmental laws and legislation. This is in addition to ensuring industrial institutions and establishments self-monitor their operational processes to achieve better environmental results. 
“We are aware of the need for accelerated economic growth, so we work hand in hand with industrial establishments and development projects to reduce the environmental impact at every stage - from planning to implementation. Our goal is to prevent the negative effects of development and help industries achieve a positive commitment to the environment. This can only be achieved through existing cooperation to achieve our goals in preserving our natural heritage.’’ 
Reducing carbon footprint
Eng Faisal Al Hammadi, EAD’s Acting Executive Director of the Environment Quality Sector said: “EAD determines industrial facilities’ compliance with environmental requirements through regular inspection visits and environmental monitoring reports. The reports include the results of the facilities’ efforts in reducing carbon emissions and in developing its environmental performance and the application of best management practices, operational controls and innovative solutions. EGA have excelled in the optimal use of resources, providing ideas and solutions to raise production efficiency, reducing waste, and preventing pollution, to ensure the protection of the environment by following international best practices and conducting scientific research.” 
Al Hammadi added: “The challenge facing many alumina refineries around the world is how to manage the primary by-product, bauxite residue. However, through our cooperation with EGA during the planning stages of the Al Taweelah alumina refinery, EAD and EGA worked together in designing a state-of-the-art storage facility in order to protect the environment. Furthermore, EGA has researched innovative solutions to convert bauxite waste into materials that can be re-utilised.” 
As the regulator for environmental affairs in Abu Dhabi, EAD has developed modern technological tools and mechanisms that ensure compliance of industrial facilities and development projects with environmental laws and environmental requirements. 
Highest standard
The Agency also supports the application of the highest standards for environmental protection, and health and public safety, in light of the tremendous industrial and urban development witnessed by the emirate. 
The role of EAD is to ensure compliance with environmental requirements by organisations and projects through periodic monitoring. This helps EAD limit and reduce harmful environmental effects, execute environmental awareness campaigns to raise the level of environmental performance, respond to environmental complaints received from the public, and assess environmental risks.
The Agency also evaluates and issues licences for several development and infrastructure projects, as well as important industrial and commercial facilities in Abu Dhabi. The environmental assessment and licensing processes aim to reduce environmental impacts from project operations, and to ensure that projects comply with local and international laws and legislation. This is achieved through the application of the best global environmental practices, in line with the environmental, economic, and social situation in the emirate.-- TradeArabia News Service