Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today signed a 15 year agreement with LD Ports & Logistics, a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, for the transshipment of bauxite in the Republic of Guinea.
Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and Abu Dhabi Ports separately signed an undertaking to form a joint venture company to work together to implement the project.
Transshipment is the process of moving cargo from one vessel to another at sea, and is used to transfer cargo when vessels are too big to berth in a port. Using larger ships reduces shipping costs on longer journeys.
EGA will be loading bauxite at the port of Kamsar in Guinea from both its own Guinea Alumina Corporation project, which will supply customers around the world, and from Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée for supply to EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi.
Kamsar is located on the river Nunez some 17 kilometres from the open sea and is inaccessible for the world’s largest vessels.
Louis Dreyfus Armateurs is a global marine transport and services group.
EGA already works with Abu Dhabi Ports in Guinea. Abu Dhabi Ports manages a container terminal built by EGA at Kamsar port.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “EGA has set an ambitious growth agenda to expand upstream and internationally. Transshipment is an important link in the chain that will connect our alumina refinery and aluminium smelters in the UAE with bauxite mines in Guinea, and will also lower shipping costs from GAC to global bauxite markets.”
Mr Gildas Maire, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs said: “These agreements with EGA and Abu Dhabi Ports expand our geographic and operational footprint in West Africa. We are pleased to be partnering with these UAE leading companies, and to play a part in the development of Guinea’s economy by helping to enable the competitive transport of Guinean bauxite.”
EGA is currently developing the GAC project in Guinea, a bauxite mine and associated export facilities. First bauxite from the project is expected during the second half of 2019. The GAC project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the past 40 years, and will be a new global source of bauxite supply. Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is derived.
EGA is also building the UAE’s first alumina refinery at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi. First alumina is expected during the first half of 2019. Alumina, which is refined from bauxite, is the feedstock for aluminium smelters. Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to meet 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina needs once full ramp-up is achieved.
The transshipment system for GAC will consist of self-propelled barges that will shuttle from the GAC berth at Kamsar port to two floating transfer stations. For bauxite destined for Al Taweelah alumina refinery, LD Ports & Logistics will use a gearless Panamax that will shuttle from the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée berth to a transshipper.
Bauxite for Al Taweelah alumina refinery will be unloaded at Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi. In December, EGA and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a long-term port facility agreement which enables Abu Dhabi Ports to develop Khalifa Port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels.
Abu Dhabi Ports will fund and complete dredging and widening works to the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin including EGA’s berth.