Emirates Global Aluminium marks 40 years since the first tonne of aluminium was produced in the UAE. Since production began in November 1979 at EGA’s site in Jebel Ali– then known as Dubai Aluminium, DUBAL, the aluminium sector has grown into one of the UAE’s largest industries accounting for 1.4 percent of the economy and supporting 60,000 UAE jobs
ABU DHABI, (Pakistan Point News - 13th Nov, 2019) Emirates Global Aluminium marks 40 years since the first tonne of aluminium was produced in the UAE. Since production began in November 1979 at EGA’s site in Jebel Ali– then known as Dubai Aluminium, DUBAL, the aluminium sector has grown into one of the UAE’s largest industries accounting for 1.4 percent of the economy and supporting 60,000 UAE jobs.
In line with the vision of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to diversify the UAE’s economy, DUBAL was founded in 1975 by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. DUBAL expanded under the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
Emirates Aluminium, EMAL, was founded in 2007 by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who directed in 2013 that EMAL and DUBAL merge to form Emirates Global Aluminium. The company has continued to expand under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
To mark the anniversary of first production, young UAE nationals who will be responsible for EGA’s continuing success in the decades ahead are ‘running’ EGA for the day. Young Emiratis are shadowing EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer and other Executive Committee members and participating in the company’s weekly executive leadership meeting.
Ministers also paid tribute to EGA’s contribution to the UAE’s economy and society over the past 40 years.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said, "Today EGA is a national industrial champion and a global UAE success story making one in every 25 tonnes of aluminium worldwide. EGA, and the aluminium sector that has grown around it, contributes some AED20 billion to our economy every year. EGA has played an important role in growing our national prosperity for the past four decades and I look forward to the company’s future contributions to further economic diversification."
Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Industry, said, "The first tonne of metal at EGA’s Jebel Ali site in 1979 was a transformative moment for the UAE industrial sector, which led to the growth of what is now a major industry for the UAE. Today not only metal, but also aluminium parts for downstream value-added industries from automotive to construction, are made here in the UAE and exported around the world by EGA and its 26 local customers. The vision of our Leadership and the commitment of our people made it happen."
For his part, Khaldoon Mubarak, Chairman of EGA, said, "EGA is the result of two of the UAE’s industrial champions – Dubal and Emal – coming together to create a world-leading and globally competitive aluminium business that is at the heart of a strategic industry for the UAE. Today, EGA connects the UAE to over 50 countries and more than 350 industrial customers. More importantly, it is a significant employer of talented Emiratis, in addition to being an incubator of aluminium smelting technology, and a concrete example of the successful economic diversification efforts of the UAE."
EGA Managing Director and CEO Abdulla Kalban said, "EGA has produced over 30 million tonnes of aluminium since that first tonne in 1979, with our metal becoming part of everything from cars to skyscrapers and making modern life possible for people worldwide. Over the past 40 years, we have taken the UAE from no aluminium production to the fifth largest aluminium-producing country in the world."
DUBAL began production in 1979 with a capacity of 135,000 tonnes per year. DUBAL was officially inaugurated by Sheikh Rashid and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The Jebel Ali site has been expanded eight separate times since 1979, taking its production to over one million tonnes per year.
In 2007, development began EMAL in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. Production at phase I of EMAL started in 2009 followed by phase II in 2013. DUBAL and EMAL completed the merger to form EGA in in 2014.
EGA is equally owned by Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi and the Investment Corporation of Dubai and is the largest company jointly owned by the two Emirates. It directly employs some 8,000 people around the world including 7,000 in the UAE. Over 1,000 UAE nationals work at EGA, including in more than 40 percent of the top 250 positions.
The company has developed technology in the UAE for more than 25 years to continually improve the aluminium smelting process. EGA’s latest industrialised technology, the 10th, is amongst the most efficient in the global aluminium industry. EGA has used its own technology in every expansion since the 1990s and has retrofitted all its older production lines.
In 2016, it became the first UAE industrial company to license its core process technology internationally, in a major milestone for the development of a knowledge-based economy in the UAE. It also supplies more than 350 customers in over 50 countries worldwide.
Emiratis under the age of 35 are shadowing EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Abdulla Kalban and his executive team throughout the day, and are participating in EGA’s weekly Executive Committee meeting which will include discussions on talent development and EGA’s future strategy.
The EGA Youth Council has re-organised shift rosters so that young UAE national supervisors are on duty managing all parts of the production process, from receiving raw materials at EGA’s port facilities to producing finished metal for customers.
Zainab AlHammadi, Acting Chairperson of the EGA Youth Council who was shadowing Kalban, said, "Young people at EGA have big shoes to fill when our turn eventually comes to fully take responsibility for the future of this great company. We will be inheriting an industrial giant, and it will be our task to build on what our predecessors have achieved to make EGA even greater for the UAE."
EGA employs some over 770 UAE nationals under 35. The company typically has around 100 graduate trainees enrolled in its 18 moth graduate trainee programme at any time, and runs national trainee development programmes to develop young people for technical roles.
EGA has focused on the development of its people for decades. Over 600 employees have worked for EGA for at least 25 years, and each year EGA celebrates staff that reach this milestone.