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UAE primary producers create industry presence in China

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012

  Acknowledging the importance of the Far East and ASEAN regions - both of which represent major export markets for the premium purity, high quality primary aluminium produced in the UAE - Dubai Aluminium ("DUBAL") and Emirates Aluminium ("EMAL") will participate jointly in the annual ALUMINIUM China 2012 exhibition, which takes place in Shanghai from 6 to 8 June.

  According to Mohamed Qanbar (General Manager, Marketing & Sales: Asia), ALUMINIUM China is rated as the most important and comprehensive aluminium industry event in China, offering a definitive international networking and trading platform where visitors can meet with suppliers of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products, surface treatment and producers of machinery, plant and equipment for aluminium processing and manufacturing, light-metals trade and service providers. "For DUBAL and EMAL, ALUMINIUM China presents a perfect opportunity to view the latest aluminium technologies while showcasing our products and services to the estimated 10,000 people who are expected to visit the exhibition," Qanbar says.

  Accordingly, the combined DUBAL-EMAL exhibition stand will showcase the two companies and promote their product portfolio, with the overall aim of sustaining and growing market share. DUBAL produces billets for construction, industrial, transportation and forging purposes in automotive industries; high-purity aluminium ingots for use in the electronics and aerospace industries; and foundry alloy ingots, which are absorbed primarily by the automotive sector. EMAL's product portfolio also includes extrusion billets for construction and transportation applications; foundry ingots, used in the automotive sector; and sheet ingots, which are primarily destined for the packaging industry, lithographic sheets and the automotive industry.

  Qanbar confirms that the overriding objectives of participating at ALUMINIUM China 2012 are to raise awareness of the UAE's growing primary aluminium sector among customers in greater Asia; and to position the two companies to pursue opportunities in the region. "We are confident that the exhibition will again draw delegations from across China and farther afield, giving us the opportunity to network with existing and potential new customers," Qanbar says. "This is important, given the strong position that DUBAL and EMAL already hold in the Asian markets, our established sales infrastructure and the potential for further growth. In 2011, DUBAL and EMAL sold a collective 764,538 metric tonnes of primary aluminium products to customers in greater Asia - accounting for 40 per cent of their combined total production of 1.87 million metric tonnes. The major share remains value added products (i.e. billet and foundry), with a portion of normal high aluminium grade metal as well, plus DUBAL's super high purity metal which is dedicated for the Far East market."

  ALUMINIUM China 2012 will also be leveraged to promote DUBAL's advanced, proprietary DX and DX+ Reduction Technologies - which rank among the best reduction technologies available. DX Technology has operated in a dedicated 40-cell potline at DUBAL's Jebel Ali smelter complex since 2008. Initially operating at 340 kA, these DX Technology cells now operate at 380 kA, offering significant advantages such as superb productivity at exceptionally high purity levels plus excellent creep potential; enhanced energy efficiency; reduced environmental impact through lower fossil fuel consumption and reduced carbon consumption; and minimal anode effects ("AEs"), resulting in lower perfluorocarbon ("PFC") emissions. A further step in amperage creep to 390 kA is planned and being executed. The current operating amperage is 385 kA.

  DX+ Technology is a new-generation technology, based directly on DX Technology. Five pilot DX+ Technology cells have been in operation at DUBAL's Jebel Ali site since 2010. Having initially operated at 420 kA and now operating stably at 440 kA, DX+ Technology cells are ultimately expected to operate at 460 kA.  DX+ Technology offers similar advantages to DX Technology plus the added advantage of higher productivity at a lower capital cost per installed tonne of capacity. The AE frequency is very low but, more importantly, DUBAL's proprietary advanced control logic restricts the average duration of AEs to less than 10 seconds (a world benchmark for lowering PFC emissions).

  DX Technology has already been licensed to the 756-cell EMAL Phase I, where it is currently operating stably at 353 kA. An upgrade of the technology will be implemented on Phase I, which will increase the yield from these cells by 50,000 metric tonnes a year. DX+ Technology has also been licensed to EMAL Phase II, an expansion project involving the construction of 444-cells in a single potline, currently under construction.

  The presence of DUBAL and EMAL at ALUMINIUM China 2012 is particularly pertinent in the light of ongoing negotiations between the Gulf Co-operation Council ("GCC") region and China regarding the formulation of a Free Trade Agreement ("FTA"). Initiated by the GCC in 2008, the FTA negotiations to date have entailed representatives of both regions meeting; and both sides currently reviewing the packages in terms of products, services and other joint co-operations. Qanbar advises that both DUBAL and EMAL are playing active roles in the negotiations as access to this important market will be vastly improved should the current duties be dropped.

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