UAE Becomes The First Country To Make Aluminum From Solar Power

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Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has announced a new global milestone placing the UAE as the first country in the world to produce aluminum using the power of the sun. The milestone supports the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the most sustainable city in the world and to take the lead in the development and application of scientific and technological advances in the energy sector.

DEWA will supply EGA’s smelter with 560,000 megawatt hours of solar power yearly from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, sufficient to make 40,000 tons of aluminum in the first year with the potential for significant expansion. EGA will supply solar aluminum to global customers under the new product name CelestiAL.

Saeed Mohammed Al-Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA and vice chairman of EGA, said: “This global achievement of both DEWA and EGA confirms our firm commitment to achieving the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, in building a green economy in the UAE, and reaching the goals of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 in diversifying energy sources and providing 75 percent of Dubai’s energy production capacity from clean energy sources by 2050. To achieve these goals, we have launched many initiatives and projects, most notably the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, which is the largest single-site solar energy project in the world with a capacity of 5,000 megawatts by 2030. The solar park projects use photovoltaic panels and concentrated solar energy technologies.”

Al-Tayer added: “The new achievement contributes to supporting our efforts in reducing carbon emissions through the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy. Dubai reduced 22 percent in carbon emissions in 2019 compared to business as usual. Results achieved exceeded the targets set in the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 16 percent by 2021.”

Abdulnasser bin Kalban, chief executive officer of EGA, said: “Aluminum is lightweight, strong and an infinitely recyclable metal and these properties mean that as a material it plays a vital global role in the development of a sustainable future. However, it also matters how sustainably aluminum is made. CelestiAL, aluminum made in the UAE with solar power, will help make modern life possible for people around the world whilst protecting our planet for future generations. This is a great milestone for the UAE and our industry.”

Aluminum is used in products and infrastructure from smartphones to skyscrapers. Its uses include applications that contribute to a more sustainable environment from wind farms to electric vehicles, and mass transit to solar panels. The availability of solar power on the scale needed for aluminum smelting is thanks to the UAE’s significant investment in solar power, including in Dubai by DEWA and its independent power producer (IPP) partners.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park, located in Dubai, has a current installed capacity of some 1,013 megawatts using photovoltaic solar panels. DEWA is implementing an additional 1,850 megawatts of projects using solar panels and concentrated solar power (CSP). Eventually, this capacity will reach 5,000 megawatts by 2030.

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