Commissioning for the plant commenced in December 2018, heralding the start of a new industrial activity for the UAE.
The refinery, which is located in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, cost approximately US $3.3 billion to develop and will produce some two million tons of alumina per year, securing EGA’s competitive supply of this vital raw material.
Preparations to operate the refinery began in October 2013, taking 500,000 hours of work to complete. Construction of the refinery then took more than 72 million hours – the equivalent of one person working for more than 25,000 years. The workforce peaked at 11,542 people, with equipment and supplies sourced from more than 20 countries.
Onsite safety processes and systems were managed by 280 safety professionals during construction. The total recordable incident frequency rate for the project was less than 10 percent of the rates for heavy industrial construction in the United States in 2017 (Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics). There were zero fatalities.
Fifty-two thousand tons of steel were used to build the refinery, enough for seven Eiffel Towers. The new plant contains 9,500 instruments, 222 separate tanks and enough piping to stretch from Abu Dhabi to Muscat. More than 20 major contracting companies worked on the project with 80 percent of the contracts by value being awarded to UAE-registered companies.
Some 585 people work in the refinery’s operations team, including alumina-refining veterans from countries as far afield as Australia and Jamaica, together with 66 UAE Nationals who were specifically trained and developed by EGA for their roles. The plant is managed from a sophisticated control room which has three times the instrumentation of a modern airliner.