Being an extremely electricity-intensive industry, a continuous supply of energy is critical for business continuity at Dubai Aluminium DUBAL – the entirely state-owned corporation that operates the world’s largest single-site primary aluminium smelter using pre-bake anode technology. Although DUBAL has a captive power station and is essentially self-sufficient in terms of electricity, the company places substantial emphasis on conserving energy through efficiency-improving measures. It’s an approach that simultaneously supports the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 (“DIES 2030), which targets efficient energy use to meet the Emirate’s environmental and sustainability objectives – in turn supporting the efforts of the UAE to optimize energy utilization and diversify energy sources. Announced by H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai), DIES 2030 addresses both demand abatement and adequacy of energy supply; and its fulfilment has been mandated to the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy DSCE.
Indeed, DUBAL is playing an active role in specific initiatives to fulfil DIES 2030 – notably through an investment of AED 20 million in the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park announced by the DSCE in February 2012. Phase I of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park will yield 10 MW by 2013 and the project will be scaled-up in successive phases to produce 1,000 MW by 2030. In addition, DUBAL is participating in a feasibility study relating to the establishment of clean coal-fired power stations in the UAE.
Moreover, as a member of the DSCE, DUBAL has implemented the energy demand abatement directives that were issued to all DSCE member companies in April 2011, and is on track to achieve total energy-savings of 22,317,240 kWh per year by 2013. The DSCE’s directives complement the energy-conscious culture nurtured at DUBAL, which has led over the years to significantly lower energy consumption levels. For example, by improving productivity and advancing the technologies within its Potline Operations, DUBAL has achieved a substantial reduction in the energy needed for electrolysis compared to 1990, resulting in average smelting energy consumption (measured in MWh/t) below the industry norm. Furthermore, efforts focused on improving the thermal efficiency of the DUBAL Power Plant have led to increased power generation to produce hot metal, while the fuel requirement increment is proportionately less – with direct environmental benefits in terms of fossil fuel combustion and associated environmental emissions. These energy performance trends at DUBAL provide further evidence of the company’s commitment to and substantial contribution to fulfilling DIES 2030.
“At DUBAL, we are acutely aware of our corporate responsibilities towards the environment and society. By closely monitoring and continually striving for improvements in our energy consumption levels, we aim to minimise the combustion of fossil fuels by our operations and the associated emissions into the atmosphere,” says Abdulla Kalban (President & CEO). “Dubai’s investment in renewable energy sources offers an important opportunity to achieve DUBAL’s corporate goals in this area, while contributing to the overall sustainability of our nation. In the longer-term, it should also help DUBAL reduce the energy component of our production costs, which can account for up to 30 per cent; and offer greater security in terms of energy-availability.”