EGA requires electricity for aluminium smelting and other industrial operations, which are powered through plants in Jebel Ali, Dubai and Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi. Its total generation capacity is 5,450 mega-watts.
According to a statement on EGA’s website, the new power facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its power generation plant in Jebel Ali by 10%.
Additionally, EGA expects a 7% reduction in emissions per tonne of aluminium produced at the plant, including through power generation and aluminium smelting.
German manufacturing giant Siemens will install a combined cycle H-class gas turbine at the power block, making the project the first in the UAE to use the technology.
The power facility has been developed as part of a joint venture between Mubadala and Dubal Holding, and EGA expects to buy the facility’s output for 25 years.
According to EGA, five of its older, smaller, and less efficient turbines at the Jebel Ali facility will be put on standby after work on the new power block commences, and will be used only during emergencies.
The project is expected to also reduce 58% of EGA’s nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions at Jebel Ali. The output is among the group of emissions targeted for reductions under the UAE Vision 2021 programme to improve air quality.
Commenting on the project, Abdulla Kalban, managing director and chief executive officer of EGA, said: “We are pleased to break ground on this important project which will improve our power generation efficiency at Jebel Ali, saving costs and environmental emissions. We are now focused on safe construction and ultimately starting up the new power block in line with our plans.”
EGA, which produced 2.64 million tonnes of cast metal last year, is currently working on a $3.3bn (AED12.1bn) alumina refinery that is nearing completion and, upon its launch, will be first facility of its kind in the UAE.
In 2018, the aluminium smelter recorded a 14% hike in its revenues, which reached $6.4bn (AED23.5bn) from $5.6bn (AED20.5bn) in 2017. The company attributed the increase in revenues to "higher sales volumes and improved benchmark prices and product premiums".