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Demonstrating solid support for the Dubai government’s efforts to conserve energy in the interests of sustainable development, Dubai Aluminium DUBAL is a Lead Sponsor of the World Energy Forum WEF 2012, which takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 22 to 24 October this year. Organised by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy DSCE, of which DUBAL is a member, WEF 2012 marks the first time that the high-level international energy conference will be held outside the headquarters of the United Nations UN. H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai is the patron of the event, with the government of Dubai as the host.
In keeping with the UN’s designation of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, the over-arching objective of WEF 2012 is to chart a roadmap for a sustainable energy mix capable of fuelling global economic and social development. Leaders from the UN member states, international organizations and corporations are expected to attend, using the forum to seek tangible progress towards cleaner, safer and more sustainable energy as well as universal access to modern energy services.
Discussions will focus on the energy-related issues dominating the global energy agenda, from the perspectives of policy, technology and business with security of supply; predicting and managing growth in energy demand; and sustainable governance in the energy sector high on the agenda. Expert opinion will also be heard on emerging regional and global issues relating to energy policies, programmes, technologies and investment opportunities; and discussions will be held on the environmental and sustainability issues affecting various regions and the world with the aim of highlighting the urgent need both to explore alternative energy sources and devise new technologies for energy conservation. Key players in the sector will also share policies and best practices in oil, gas, renewable energy and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
DUBAL the wholly state-owned corporation that operates a one million metric tonne per annum primary aluminium smelter, one of the world's largest single-site smelters and the largest using pre-bake anode technology has a captive power plant within its 480-hectare smelter complex at Jebel Ali, with a generation capability of 2,350 MW at 30°C. This makes DUBAL one of the UAE’s major energy stakeholders, and underscores the company’s involvement in WEF 2012: in addition to its Lead Sponsorship, DUBAL will also participate actively at the event
It is also one of the key motivators behind DUBAL’s implementation of the directives issued to all DSCE member companies in April 2011 to minimize energy consumption in fulfilment of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. In the first nine months of implementing the directives April to December 2011, DUBAL saved 6,942,760 kWh. A further 4,458,316 kWh has been saved in the first six months of this year January to June 2012, bringing the total savings over the 15-month period to 11,401,076 kWh, which has also reduced CO2 emissions at DUBAL by 5,701 metric tonne.
DUBAL’s Tayeb Al Awadhi Vice President: Power & Desalination says that the ‘quick wins’ for energy conservation identified by the DSCE are proving effective at DUBAL. We have fully implemented the directive to set air-conditioning thermostats to 24°C during working hours and 27°C outside working hours; as well the directive to turn off all non-essential lights after working hours. We are also on track to achieve the third directive, namely to change to energy efficient lighting, where our internal target is to complete 50 per cent of the changeover by the end of 2013. Overall, we are well placed to achieve total energy-savings of 22,317,240 kWh per year by 2013.”
Al Awadhi adds that the DSCE directives complement DUBAL’s on-going efforts to minimize the power consumption of its operations. For example, the extremely energy-intensive process to reduce alumina to primary aluminium is continually being enhanced so as to be more energy efficient. The energy consumption in the potlines of 14.71 MWh/tonne aluminium in 2011 represented a 110,000 MWh savings over the 14.82 MWh/tonne aluminium recorded in 2010. Indeed, the company has implemented numerous energy-savings projects over the years including the introduction of new preventative maintenance procedures; alternative anode sizes; new controls to anticipate and prevent anode effects; evaporative cooling systems on several gas turbines; replacing conventional burners with regenerative burners in furnaces; and commissioning a new combined cycle turbine. Others projects are being considered for implementation in the near-term. This approach reflects the energy-conscious culture at DUBAL, which is encouraged through targeted communications using appropriate channels – including a dedicated category in DUBAL’s well-established Suggestion Scheme.
Commenting on the company’s commitment to sustainability and its expertise in the energy sector, Awadhi says “Being energy-conscious is a vital component of DUBAL’s corporate responsibility; and we constantly innovate to identify new opportunities in this area. By lowering DUBAL’s power consumption, we can help minimize the rate of resource depletion; while simultaneously reducing the levels of greenhouse and other gases emitted to the atmosphere. Optimizing our energy consumption levels by increasing the overall efficiency of our operations is also an operating imperative for our long-term sustainability. Given the high cost of energy worldwide, reducing our consumption of this major resource is key to maintaining DUBAL’s competitiveness in the global aluminium industry.”