UAE says Mohammed bin Rashid solar park is powering aluminum production

Solar-powered aluminum produced in Dubai

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The UAE has claimed to be the first country in the world to produce certified solar-powered aluminum, thanks to the mammoth Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park south of Dubai.

A press release issued by state-owned entities the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) this morning was framed to suggest the emirate's national aluminum manufacturer was already producing ‘CelestiAL' metal thanks to the 1,013 MW of photovolatic generation capacity already installed at the vast solar field.

“DEWA will supply EGA’s smelter with 560,000 megawatt-hours of solar power yearly from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, sufficient to make 40,000 tons of aluminum in the first year with the potential for significant expansion,” stated the release. pv magazine contacted DEWA to ascertain if and when the solar electricity began to flow to manufacturing operations without response, but a press release subsequently issued on February 2, 2021 – by the Hill+Knowlton PR agency used by DEWA – named BMW as the first CelestiAL customer and stated: “EGA began production of CelestiAL earlier this month.” A spokesperson for Hill+Knowlton confirmed “this month” referred to January.

The electricity drawn down from the emirati grid is certified as solar under the International Renewable Energy Certification System, according to the utility and the metal company.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is set to achieve 5 GW of photovoltaic and concentrating solar power generation capacity in 2030.

Remarking on the solar-powered aluminum, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer – managing director and CEO of DEWA and vice chairman of Emirates Global Aluminium – said: “The new achievement contributes to supporting our efforts in reducing carbon emissions through the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy. Dubai reduced 22% in carbon emissions in 2019, compared to business as usual. [The] results achieved exceeded the targets set in the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 16% by 2021.”

This copy was updated on 02/02/21 to confirm solar-powered aluminum production began in January.

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