The world’s biggest ‘premium aluminium’ producer Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) got German luxury vehicles company BMW Group as its first customer for CelestiAL aluminium which is made using solar power.
Since 2013, EGA has been supplying metal to BMW Group for use in its engines and other parts. Now, EGA will supply 43,000 tonnes of CelestiAL aluminium to the German carmaker per year.
By using solar aluminium from EGA, BMW Group will be able to reduce its annual emission of CO2 by 222,000 tonnes. It is estimated that EGA’s CelestiAL metal will cover almost half the annual requirements of Plant Landshut, the BMW Group’s only production facility for light metal casting in Europe.
In 2020, Plant Landshut produced about 2.9 million cast metal components including engine parts such as cylinder heads and crankcases, parts for electric drive trains, and vehicle body parts.
In a press statement by EGA, it stated that the BMW Group’s annual supply contract with EGA is worth a three-digit million-euro sum.
EGA’s CelestiAL aluminium started its production earlier this month using electricity generated at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park and it is the first time solar power has been used to produce aluminium commercially worldwide.
“We are delighted that the BMW Group is the first customer for EGA’s low carbon CelestiAL. Aluminium is lightweight, strong and infinitely recyclable and that is why it has an important role to play in developing a more sustainable society and making modern life possible. One key example of this is by improving the efficiency of vehicles by reducing their weight. But it also matters how sustainably aluminium is made.”
Producing aluminium is an energy-intensive process and generating electricity accounts for some 60 percent of the global aluminium industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, by using solar power the emission linked with aluminium smelting can be reduced.
EGA’s sourcing of solar power from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park through Dubai’s electricity grid is tracked using the International Renewable Energy Certification System. The Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has a current installed capacity of some 1,013 MW which will eventually reach 5,000 MW by 2030.
According to a recent deal made between the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) the operator of the solar park and EGA, the former will supply EGA’s smelter with 560,000 megawatt-hours of solar power annually from the facility, enough to produce 40,000 tonnes of aluminium in the first year itself.
Dr. Andreas Wendt, BMW AG Board Member for Purchasing and Supplier Network, said, “It is a special honor for us to be the first customer to receive aluminium produced using solar electricity. Aluminium plays an important role in e-mobility and using sustainably produced aluminium is tremendously important to our company.”