The two firms have agreed to test the use of a by-product of aluminium smelting called spent pot lining in Arkan’s cement plant in Al Ain
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the largest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas, and Arkan, a leading building materials company, have agreed to test the use of a by-product of aluminium smelting in Arkan’s cement plant in Al Ain, improving the environmental performance of both companies.
The agreement is a further step for EGA towards re-using all spent pot lining in the UAE, said a statement from the Emirati company.
As part of the deal, EGA will provide spent pot lining (the used inner lining of aluminium smelting pots, which is worn out and replaced every four to five years) to Arkan to jointly test whether it is suitable for use as feedstock for Arkan’s cement plant.
Spent pot lining consists of carbon which burns in a cement kiln and reduces the requirements for other fuel, and refractory materials which survive the firing process and become part of the finished cement. This move will not only help in reducing storage in the UAE, but will also be aimed at cutting Arkan’s energy needs and requirement for quarried rock.
Arkan is 51 per cent owned by Senaat, a company of Abu Dhabi government, while the remaining stake is held by UAE nationals with shares traded on Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange. It has been operating the cement plant in Al Ain since 2014.
EGA said it has supplied spent pot lining to other UAE cement plants from 2010 onwards for use as a feedstock.
Globally, the aluminium industry produces more than one million tonnes of spent pot lining each year according to industry experts, and much of it is stored indefinitely. Outside the UAE, some spent pot lining is sent to landfill.
In 2016, over 37,000 tonnes of EGA’s spent pot lining was used in the UAE cement industry, more than the Emirati firm’s average annual production.
EGA aims to re-use all its spent pot lining in the UAE, and is safely storing excess spent pot lining already produced for eventual economic use.
Abdulla Kalban, the managing director and chief executive of EGA, said: “Many in the aluminium industry see spent pot lining as a problem, but we see it as an economic and environmental opportunity.”
“Using spent pot lining in cement manufacturing is a win-win for both industries and for the country, and contributes to achievement of the economic diversification vision of the UAE,” he added.
Abdulaziz Asad, the chief operating officer of Arkan, said: “EGA’s spent pot lining should reduce both our costs and energy needs, delivering business value and improving our environmental performance.”
“This project is in line with our strategy of exploring alternative fuels and feedstocks and we look forward to success in the tests,” he added.