Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, has sent 13 female UAE national engineers to Ma’aden’s alumina refinery in Saudi Arabia as part of preparation work for the start-up of EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi.
Ma’aden is currently the only operational alumina refinery in the Middle East.
Eleven of the women are graduate trainees who will fill mechanical and process engineering roles in the new alumina refinery. They were joined by a safety superintendent and a lean engineer who have transferred to the alumina refinery from EGA’s smelters. The group visited Ma’aden for two days.
EGA engineers have been seconded to Ma’aden since the start of the year to gain experience on an operational refinery whilst construction of EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery continues, but the new group are the first women to participate in the programme.
Zaher Abdulla Al Habtari, senior vice president refinery operations at EGA, said: “Almost 500 people are working on preparations to run Al Taweelah alumina refinery, including many experienced engineers we have recruited from alumina refineries around the world. As our alumina refinery will be the first in the UAE, our training collaboration programme with Ma’aden is an important part of developing UAE Nationals to take roles in our operations organisation.”
Al Taweelah alumina refinery is currently one of the largest industrial construction sites in the UAE, with more than 10,000 people working on site.
Alumina refineries process bauxite ore into alumina, which is the feedstock for aluminium smelters.
Al Taweelah alumina refinery will have a nameplate production capacity of 2 million tonnes of alumina per year and is expected to meet 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina requirements. This will help secure the UAE's supplies of this vital raw material for the aluminium industry, which are currently met entirely through imports.
EGA has already signed an agreement with Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée for the supply of bauxite for Al Taweelah alumina refinery from the Republic of Guinea.
EGA is also building a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in Guinea. Bauxite from this project will be supplied to third-party customers.
Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to contribute about Dh1 billion per year to the UAE economy, and create 600 permanent jobs once operational. –TradeArabia News Service