UAE’s EGA extends alliance with Geocycle to process industrial waste

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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UAE-based largest premium aluminum producer, Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), has signed an agreement with Swiss firm LafargeHolcim’s local subsidiary, Geocycle UAE, to extend their 10-year partnership in creating value from industrial waste in the country.

The agreement will help to pre-process the toxic waste produced as a result of the aging lining of pots in the aluminum smelter.

Globally, one million tons of spent pot lining is produced annually as a result of aluminum smelting. Previously, the waste was largely refilled, but firms such as EGA have invested in various ways to eliminate the material’s toxicity and use it for other purposes. Proper pre-processing can eliminate harmful chemicals from the waste, which can then be used as feedstock in cement, mineral wool, and steel production processes.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban

“Aluminium is lightweight, strong, and infinitely recyclable. It is used products and infrastructure that make modern life possible and has an important role in the development of a more sustainable society. However, aluminum production creates some waste streams which have historically been difficult to recycle. Our focus is to eliminate waste generation as far as possible and to find uses for the waste that we cannot avoid producing. Our partnership with LafargeHolcim, Geocycle UAE, and the broader UAE cement industry has played an important role in enabling us to turn spent pot lining from a problem into a valuable resource.”

Medhat Ismail, General Manager of Geocycle UAE commented, “At Geocycle UAE & LafargeHolcim, our vision of enabling a circular economy starts with the preservation of natural resources by substituting fossil fuels and raw materials with waste or by-products. We aim to bring society a step closer to a zero-waste future. To achieve this goal, we need progressive partners such as EGA.”

Since 2010, Geocycle UAE has obtained more than 160,000 tons of spent pot lining that has been processed and supplied to the domestic cement industry.

Following the renewal of their contract, EGA is expected to supply Geocycle UAE with another 40,000 tons of waste and directly as pre-processed material to LafargeHolcim’s cement plant in Fujairah.