Emirates Global Aluminium and Arkan have agreed to test the use of a by-product of aluminium smelting in Arkan’s cement plant in Al Ain, improving the environmental performance of both companies.
Spent pot lining is the used inner lining of aluminium smelting pots, which is worn out and replaced every four to five years. Globally, the aluminium industry produces over 1 million tonnes of spent pot lining each year according to industry experts, and much is stored indefinitely. Outside the UAE, some spent pot lining is sent to landfill.
EGA is to provide spent pot lining to Arkan for joint tests of its suitability for use as feedstock for Arkan’s cement plant. This will not only reduce storage in the UAE, but is also expected to reduce Arkan’s energy needs and requirement for quarried rock.
EGA has supplied spent pot lining to other UAE cement plants since 2010 for use as a feedstock.
In 2016, over 37,000 tonnes of EGA’s spent pot lining was used in the UAE cement industry, more than EGA’s average annual production. EGA aims to re-use all its spent pot lining in the UAE, and is safely storing excess spent pot lining already produced for eventual economic use.
Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “Many in the aluminium industry see spent pot lining as a problem, but we see it as an economic and environmental opportunity. Using spent pot lining in cement manufacturing is a win-win for both industries and for the country, and contributes to achievement of the economic diversification vision of the UAE.”
Abdulaziz Asad, Chief Operating Officer of Arkan, said: “EGA’s spent pot lining should reduce both our costs and energy needs, delivering business value and improving our environmental performance. This project is in line with our strategy of exploring alternative fuels and feedstocks and we look forward to success in the tests.”
Spent pot lining consists of carbon which burns in a cement kiln and reduces the requirements for other fuel, and refractory materials which survive the firing process and become part of the finished cement.
Arkan has operated a new cement plant in Al Ain since 2014 and is 51 per cent owned by SENAAT, a company of the Government of Abu Dhabi. The remaining 49 per cent of Arkan is owned by UAE Nationals with shares traded on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.