In an historic alliance, Sonatrach the national Algerian oil and gas company has today signed in Algeria an agreement with Mubadala Development Company, a wholly owned investment and development vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi and Dubai Aluminium Company (DUBAL), wholly owned by the Government of Dubai to develop the country’s first aluminium smelter.
The smelter is to be located at a 400 hectare site at Beni Saf on the western coastline of Algeria. It is expected to produce around 700,000 tonnes of high grade primary aluminium per year, largely for export. The agreement was jointly signed by HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO & Managing Director, Mubadala Development Company, and Abdullah Kalban, CEO, DUBAL. Mohamed Meziane President & CEO of Algerian industry giant and partner Sonatrach concluded the signing in the presence of Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines Chakib Khelil.
The complex will include a 2,000 MW dedicated power plant with a specially constructed deep-water wharf to handle the import of raw materials and export of aluminium. The smelter will feature two potlines, using the modern and energy-efficient DX technology from DUBAL, one of the leading players in the worldwide aluminium industry.
Speaking about the initiative, Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “The UAE and Algeria have always had close ties in the region and this venture further cements our relationship. Mubadala is already an investor in Algeria, with existing investments including a number of Power Station and Oil and Gas projects. I am pleased that the UAE can continue to play a significant part in contributing to the development of the country’s infrastructure and economic development.”
He continued: “This investment is necessary to provide for an increased demand for aluminium globally. The rising cost of energy in some regions continues to make older smelters uneconomic, whereas Algeria’s abundant supply of energy and regional position makes for an exciting opportunity.”
Abdulla Jassem Kalban stressed that DUBAL will contribute its considerable expertise and industry knowledge to ensure the success of the project. “For more than 25 years DUBAL has been the success story of aluminium production in the region. We have developed our own DX technology which will be a feature of the new smelter and DUBAL will provide essential technical support and resources to ensure its success. At every stage we will ensure the latest technology is applied and adheres to the highest environmental standards globally.”
Pre-feasibility has been completed and a detailed feasibility study will commence immediately which includes an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Study to ensure industry best practices during the design, build and operations phases.