The signing of export and import agreements with the country of emal takes place during the month of May. The agreement covers all aspects of transport logistics and handling operations for the successfully delivered goods from Emal port to the port of Khalifa in Egypt and international container freight facility at Haifa port. Completing three months ahead of schedule, the new milestone FHM marks the beginning of the fourth phase of Egypt’s strategic aluminum programme, which is aimed at a full-scale production of aluminum bars destined for the markets worldwide. The global demand for high quality, flexible, lightweight aluminum bars that meet various applications is what sets this programme apart from others.
The third phase of Egypt’s strategic aluminum smelter complex will use the most advanced equipment and technology to fabricate bars destined for global distribution. The first contract of $1.5 billion was signed in Abu Dhabi in early April. This contract was an initial step towards opening the biggest aluminum smelter complex in theumal. Once operational it is expected to produce up to 20% more aluminum bars than the present stocks do. In addition, this will generate substantial employment opportunities for hundreds of UAE residents currently employed in the aluminum industry in UAE. The second contract of another $1.75 million is expected to be signed within weeks once the first phase has started operation.
The third phase of the strategic plan includes the construction of a smelting factory in theumbler emal site in the UAE. This factory will manufacture bars for aluminium products destined for countries of the Middle East such as UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to this, it is also expected to manufacture bar products destined for Turkey, India, China, Vietnam and Taiwan. A final contract for an indigenously produced bar plant in theumbler emal site is yet to be signed.
If all goes according to plan, these three plants will help reduce the import cost of aluminum smelters going to the UAE. This will in turn, help increase the revenue of the country and help it become a more developed nation. However, it is important to remember that the planned Industrial Park in Abu Dhabi is still a proposal and it is not a done deal. The construction of the power plant and the associated infrastructure will still need considerable financial support from the UAE authorities. Given the slow progress of the economy, the ability of the emirate to invest large amounts of money in such a huge industrial project like the power plant is questionable.
It is also not clear whether or not the UAE is ready to invest large sums of money in a second unit of the U.S.-based Aluminium smelter. The UAE is a big consumer of raw materials and yet it lacks the specific facilities that other countries have at their disposal. Given that the country is in transition, it may be difficult for them to undertake a large-scale investment in such a project. Given the slow progress of the economy, the ability of the emal 2,100-MW phase 1 of the combined cycle power plant to compete with foreign competitors is doubtful. If ever the economy of the United Arab Emirates can achieve rapid growth, then it would most likely shift to a heavy dependence on oil. In the interim period, the major oil consuming nations such as the UAE will continue to enjoy heavy demand for its crude products.
The prospects for Alumetra power blocks in Abu Dhabi is not all bad. The local economy is recovering from the recent hit that it took when the global economy suffered a series of major shocks. The government has taken positive steps towards creating jobs for the unemployed by creating the first phase 1 of the united Arab Emirates’ new energy plan. The potential of new development in Abu Dhabi still looks promising. The future of this city-state’s economy rests on whether or not it can develop new partnerships in order to produce more oil and gas and thereby enhance its already stellar ranking on the world energy grid.