Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, has signed an agreement which paves the way for the construction of a chemical complex in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi.
The long term supply agreement with Shaheen Chem Investments will bring a big boost to the UAE's production of caustic soda, an important raw material in industries from petroleum products to chemicals manufacturing as well as alumina refining.
Once it starts production early next decade, Shaheen’s ethylene dichloride and caustic soda plant will supply all its caustic soda output to EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery for a period of 15 years.
The new plant will be the first in the UAE to produce ethylene dichloride, which will be sold to third parties, a statement said.
Ethylene dichloride is a precursor chemical that is mostly used to manufacture vinyl chloride, which in turn is used to make polyvinyl chloride. Polyvinyl chloride is a plastic which is used to make pipes, bottles and other products.
Abdulla Kalban, managing director and CEO of EGA, said: “The construction of a caustic soda plant next to our alumina refinery guarantees our supply of this vital raw material at competitive prices for years to come.”
Shaheen’s chairman Rashed Al Suwaidi added: “We now look forward to building our plant at KIZAD to supply EGA with the caustic soda it needs. We are also excited to become the first producer of ethylene dichloride in the UAE and to later bringing vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride production to the country.”
The new plant will be built near to EGA’s Al Taweelah site on a 300,000 square metre plot and has room for future expansion. The production capacity of the first phase of the plant is expected to be 130,000 tonnes per year of caustic soda and 160,000 tonnes per year of ethylene dichloride.
Shaheen said it envisages a later second phase of the project, which will double caustic soda production capacity and begin production of vinyl chloride and polyvinyl chloride.
The UAE currently imports all its polyvinyl chloride needs.
EGA is currently building Al Taweelah alumina refinery next to its Al Taweelah aluminium smelter. The refinery will process bauxite ore into alumina, which is the feedstock for aluminium smelters.
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