Home » HE Dr Amna Al Dahak visits EGA to review bauxite residue pilot plant progress

HE Dr Amna Al Dahak visits EGA to review bauxite residue pilot plant progress

by Madaline Dunn

Her Excellency Dr Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, recently visited EGA’s bauxite residue pilot plant to review the progress of its construction.

Bauxite residue is a by-product of alumina refining, with some 150 million tonnes of the material produced worldwide each year, and less than two per cent put to productive use.

After almost a decade of research, EGA has developed proprietary processes to re-use bauxite residue.

EGA’s pilot plant will use proprietary technology to convert caustic bauxite residue into what it calls an “environmentally benign” raw material in hours, rather than undergoing decades-long, natural processes.

This Optimised Bauxite Residue is the main ingredient for a manufactured soil, which EGA calls ‘Turba,’ the Arabic word for soil).

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, received Her Excellency and her delegation at EGA headquarters in Al Taweelah.

The UAE has limited naturally-occurring soil and imports significant quantities each year for greening and agricultural purposes. It is also the world’s largest terrestrial CO2 storage facility, absorbing up to 20 per cent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

This role is threatened by soil erosion worldwide, EGA explained.

“Early studies and laboratory-scale trials show that EGA’s Turba may have up to 10 times better CO2 absorption properties than the UAE’s natural soil,” said the company.

According to EGA, laboratory-scale trials have also shown that Turba enhances plant growth while using less water and fertiliser.

HE Dr Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, commented: “The health of our planet is intertwined with the health of our soil. As we confront the urgent challenge of climate change, we must take steps to support the crucial role that soil plays in reducing CO2 in our atmosphere. At MOCCAE, we welcome the work undertaken by businesses like EGA to invest in sustainable soil management practices, foster innovation and promote sustainable solutions. I was pleased to have the opportunity to review progress on the construction of EGA’s pilot plant. Innovative solutions are required for the world’s environmental challenges, and businesses like EGA are amongst the UAE champions playing a key role in finding them.”

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “I was pleased to brief the Minister on EGA’s progress with Turba, our breakthrough solution to re-use bauxite residue as a manufactured soil. Our long-term goal is to send zero process waste to landfill, and we have made great progress. Bauxite residue is the most challenging waste stream in our industry and I am confident we are close to solving it. I look forward to industrial-scale production of our sustainable industrial soil for a better tomorrow.”

EGA’s pilot plant is expected to be completed during 2024. Once operational, the facility will produce up to six tonnes per day of Optimised Bauxite Residue.

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