Conakry, Guinea: President His Excellency Alpha Condé of the Republic of Guinea has officially inaugurated Emirates Global Aluminium’s container terminal in its new port facility at Kamsar. In a significant boost for the local economy, the terminal will enable the import of materials for the construction of the 12 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) mine as well as allow early bauxite bulk samples from Guinea Alumina Corporation S.A. (“GAC”), Guinea’s largest development project. GAC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EGA.
The facility will also be available for third party users as an alternative to existing container facilities in Conakry. Abu Dhabi Ports will manage EGA’s Kamsar Container Terminal, the first operation for the company in the West African country. The inauguration was attended by Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA and Abdulkareem Al Masabi, Acting Executive Vice President of Ports Unit at Abu Dhabi Ports.
President His Excellency Alpha Condé said: “’This project remains an important milestone for my development program for Guinea. Indeed, the export of bauxite at first then an alumina production plant would strengthen Guinea’s position on the global market and enable local processing of bauxite and with it the development of the mining sector.”
Mr Kalban said: “Today’s inauguration is an important step in the development of our project, which will secure the UAE’s aluminium industry for years to come and provide a major boost to Guinea’s economy. The development of Kamsar Port is also important because it provides new facilities for others to trade here. Just as the UAE’s ports have grown to become major regional trading hubs, so we know this development holds great potential for the people of Guinea too.”
EGA is developing its facilities in the port of Kamsar to allow loading of Capesize and Newcastlemax vessels which are three to four times larger than current shipping options, for the export of bauxite to China and other markets. The size of the vessels reduces shipping costs per tonne, increasing the global competitiveness of Guinea’s bauxite exports. During Q4 this year the first high-quality bauxite samples will be sent from EGA’s Guinea concession to customers in China and India.
Guinea has around 7 billion tonnes of bauxite resources, over a quarter of the global total. Guinean bauxite is amongst the highest quality worldwide. GAC’s bauxite mine is in the Boké region of north-west Guinea, where it holds a concession on more than 1 billion tonnes of bauxite. Commercial production is expected to begin in 2018 and grow to 12 Mtpa. A railway extension is under construction to connect the mine with Kamsar port.
The mine development project is estimated to create approximately 4,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Boké region, increase Guinea’s GDP by more than 10 per cent annually, and solidify Guinea’s position as the world’s largest exporter of bauxite, thus providing a significant uplift to the country’s foreign earnings. Global demand for high-quality bauxite, particularly in China, is expected to grow significantly over the next decade.
More than 200 Guineans are being seconded over the next several years to EGA’s operations in the UAE to prepare them for roles at GAC. EGA is also investing to support communities near its operations in Guinea, opening community health centres, installing water wells, building schools, providing adult literacy and vocational training and protecting local fauna and flora.