UAE to produce aluminum using solar energy; First in the World

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
  • Follow author on
Representational Image

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) have signed an agreement to place UAE as the first country in the world to produce aluminum using the power of the sun.

This achievement supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to lead Dubai to take the forefront in the growth and implementation of scientific and technological advances in the energy sector.

According to the agreement, DEWA will supply 560,000 megawatt-hours of solar power annually from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to EGA’s smelter, sufficient to generate 40,000 tones of aluminum, with the potential for substantial expansion in the first year. EGA will supply solar aluminum to global consumers under the new product name ‘CelestiAL’.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer

“This global achievement of both DEWA and EGA confirms our firm commitment to achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in building a green economy in UAE, and reaching the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 in diversifying energy sources and providing 75 percent of Dubai’s energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. To achieve these goals, we have launched many initiatives and projects, most notably the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar energy project in the world with a capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030. The solar park projects use photovoltaic panels and concentrated solar energy technologies.”

“The new achievement contributes to supporting our efforts in reducing carbon emissions through the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy. Dubai reduced 22 percent in carbon emissions in 2019 compared to business as usual. Results achieved exceeded the targets set in the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 16 percent by 2021,” he further added.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, chief executive officer of EGA said, “Aluminium is lightweight, strong and infinitely recyclable metal, and these properties mean that as a material it plays a vital global role in the development of a sustainable future. However, it also matters how sustainably aluminum is made. CelestiAL, aluminum made in the UAE with solar power, will help make modern life possible for people around the world whilst protecting our planet for future generations. This is a great milestone for the UAE and our industry.”

Aluminum is used in goods and infrastructure from smartphones to skyscrapers. Its uses involve applications that contribute to a more sustainable environment from wind farms to electric vehicles and mass transit to solar panels.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, located in Dubai, has a current installed capacity of 1,013MW using photovoltaic solar panels. DEWA is implementing an additional 1,850MW of projects using solar panels and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). Eventually, this capacity will reach 5,000MW by 2030.

EGA’s supply of solar power from Dubai’s electricity grid can be traced, with the use of the International Renewable Energy Certification Scheme, ensuring that the energy used to generate EGA’s CelestiAL solar aluminum is sourced from the sun.