Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) will supply Abu Dhabi-based Arkan Building Materials with waste from its smelting operations as the UAE industrial giant pushes circular economy initiatives.
EGA will supply Arkan with spent pot lining, a waste material generated by aluminium smelting, which the building materials company will use to manufacture cement.
It is unclear how much or how often EGA will deliver spent pot lining to Arkan.
Spent pot lining is the used inner lining of aluminium smelting pots, which is worn out and replaced every four to five years. This wasted product contains carbon, an alternative fuel, and refractory materials that survive the firing process and can become part of finished cement. EGA claim the global aluminium industry produces more than one million tonnes of the stuff every year, much of which is stored indefinitely without any purpose.
Its agreement with Arkan comes as the business, which operates smelters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, explores circular economy initiatives that find customers for EGA waste. One initiative is supplying spent pot lining to cement firms. Last year, EGA supplied more of the material to cement firms than it produced.
To support this, the company is building facilities at its Al Taweelah site to process spent pot lining that can be delivered to cement companies who will use it as an alternative fuel or raw material.
Arkan has been exploring how to use EGA's spent pot lining in its own operations since 2017.
HE Eng Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, chairman of Arkan, said the company would be able to reduce its dependence on fuel by using EGA's wasted spent pot lining in its manufacturing processes.
“We have conducted rigorous testing on EGA’s spent pot lining to ensure that it works effectively in our industrial process,” he said in a statement. “Spent pot lining will reduce our need for both fuel and quarried rock in line with Arkan’s vision of “waste to fuel” plan”.
EGA's managing director and chief executive officer, Abdulla Kalban, said it was a challenge to find economically viable ways to get rid of spent pot lining in a way that is not detrimental to the environment, adding that he was pleased that Arkan is able to use the company's waste.
“We have made tremendous progress in finding economic uses for spent pot lining, which is a challenge for our industry around the world,” Kalban said. “I am pleased that we will be working with Arkan to turn waste into value, improving the environmental performance of both our companies to the benefit of our nation.”