Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum presenting a sponsor's award to Abdulla Kalban, President & CEO of DUBAL at DGEF 2011
Widely regarded as the UAE’s industrial flagship, Dubai Aluminium Company Limited "DUBAL" owns and operates one of the world's largest single-site primary aluminium smelters. Built on a 480-hectare site in Jebel Ali, Dubai, the complex's major facilities comprise a one million metric tonne per annum smelter, a 2,350 megawatt power station (at 30°C), a large carbon plant, casting operations with a capacity of more than one million metric tonnes per annum, a 30 million gallon per day seawater desalination plant, laboratories, port and storage facilities.
Despite being self-sufficient in terms of generating its own power requirements, DUBAL strives continually to minimize the power consumption of its operations. Several energy-savings projects have been implemented over the years while others are being considered for implementation in the near-term.
For example, lighting across the complex is continuously audited with the aim of identifying and implementing energy-saving options. “In 2006, 140 lighting units were replaced with energy-savings bulbs, which resulted in a reduction in power consumption of 12,510 kWh per year. Furthermore, these energy-saving bulbs are mercury-free, making them environment friendly during disposal,” says Tayeb Al Awadhi (Vice President: Power & Desalination). “Motion sensors have been also installed in many areas, especially in unmanned substations, which further contribute to energy savings. Currently, a review is in progress to evaluate the feasibility of converting DUBAL lighting systems to LED technology, which is not only well tested and proven to be extremely energy efficient but also has become more affordable. The aim is to embark on plant-wide full scale LED lighting conversion at DUBAL as soon as practicable.”
Air-conditioning is another major power consumer at DUBAL, especially during the summer months. Steps have been taken to minimize the air-conditioning load by setting the units’ thermostats to 24°C during working hours and 27°C during non-working hours, with advisory stickers being pasted on every thermostat controller to remind users of the initiative. In addition, a review is currently in progress to convert DUBAL’s electrically-driven air-conditioning chillers to a much more efficient system using absorption chiller technology.
“Being steam-driven, absorption chiller technology uses approximately 75 per cent less electrical power than conventional air-conditioning system,” explains Al Awadhi. “Phase 1 of the project — which entails trialling absorption chiller technology at DUBAL’s Desalination Control Building — should begin by the end of 2011. Once operational, the absorption chiller is expected to reduce DUBAL’s power consumption by approximately 2 million kWh per annum.”
As further evidence of DUBAL’s commitment to energy-conservation, the company is a member of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and was an Official Sponsor of the Dubai Global Energy Forum (“DGEF”) 2011, which took place in Dubai from 17 to 19 April this year. Subsequent to the DGEF, DUBAL has undertaken to conform to the directives issued by H H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum (President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Airline Group and Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy) to all Supreme Council of Energy member companies regarding the measures which the Dubai Government is taking to minimise energy consumption in Dubai, in fulfilment of the 2030 Energy Strategy. Apart from setting the cooling temperatures on all air-conditioners at 24˚C and 27˚C as outlined above, DUBAL will ensure that all unnecessary lights are switched off after working hours, wherever applicable; and that all computers/monitors are also switched off when employees leave after a shift at the office. “A dedicated committee has been formed within DUBAL with the mandate to implement these and other energy-saving initiatives,” advises Al Awadhi.