UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: EGA supply agreement adds to Kizad demand
Emirates Global Aluminum, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, has signed a long-term supply agreement with Shaheen Chem Investments. This paves the way for the construction of a chemical complex in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) by Shaheen.
Once it starts production early next decade, Shaheen's ethylene dichloride and caustic soda plant will supply all its caustic soda output to EGA's Al Taweelah alumina refinery for 15 years. This will meet EGA's needs for this raw material.
Construction of the plant will boost the UAE's production of caustic soda, an important raw material in industries from petroleum products to chemicals manufacturing as well as alumina refining.
The new plant will be the first in the UAE to produce ethylene dichloride, which will be sold to third parties. Construction of the plant is expected to boost the role of Kizad as an industrial center for Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
The agreement was signed by Abdulla Kalban, managing director and CEO of EGA, Shaheen's chairman Rashed Al Suwaidi and Shaheen's managing director Walid Azhari. The signing was witnessed by Abdelkareem Al Masabi, executive vice-president of Abu Dhabi Ports, which is the master developer and operator of Kizad.
Kalban said: "The construction of a caustic soda plant next to our alumina refinery guarantees our supply of this raw material at competitive prices for years to come. EGA's demand for caustic soda is creating further industrial expansion in Abu Dhabi, continuing EGA's long-standing contribution to the diversification of our economy as we grow our own business."
Al Suwaidi said: "We are excited to become the first producer of ethylene dichloride in the UAE and to later bring vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride production."
The new plant will be built near EGA's Al Taweelah site on a 300,000 square meter plot and has room for future expansion. The production capacity of the first phase of the plant is expected to be 130,000 t/y of caustic soda and 160,000 t/y of ethylene dichloride. Shaheen envisages a second phase of the project, which will double caustic soda production capacity and begin production of vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride.
The UAE currently imports all its polyvinyl chloride needs. Local production could spur the development of manufacturers using polyvinyl chloride at Kizad.
EGA is currently building the Al Taweelah alumina refinery next to its Al Taweelah aluminum smelter. The refinery will process bauxite ore into alumina, which is the feedstock for aluminum smelters.
Source: Daily “The Khaleej Times”, Dubai; 19 Dec 2017
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)