• EGA to incorporate cranes, from Fives, with auto-positioning and advanced sensing capabilities
  • "Automation offers significant potential to reduce risks for people and improve efficiency and cost." - CEO of EGA
  • EGA’s ambition is to operate cranes remotely and be fully-autonomous

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has announced the company is to install highly-automated, multi-functional overhead cranes in Jebel Ali in a step towards full automation of cranes used for reduction cell tending, and securing operations for decades ahead.

EGA is replacing 16 cranes that have completed their 25-year useful lives with just 14 new models that incorporate auto-positioning and advanced sensing capabilities.

The increased automation capabilities of the new cranes will improve safety, efficiency and reliability. The technology brings closer EGA’s future ambition of operating cranes remotely from a central control room and ultimately fully-autonomous crane operation.

EGA has contracted Fives, a French industrial engineering group, to supply the new cranes. The first new crane is expected to be delivered before the end of 2023 with all 14 new cranes in operation by the beginning of 2025.

Reduction cell tending cranes at EGA perform complex tasks including anode replacement and metal tapping in a harsh environment with high heat and magnetism. Each crane weighs over 100 tonnes.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, and Sébastien Gauguier, Aluminium Division President of Fives Group, visited EGA’s potlines in Jebel Ali together to mark the start of the crane replacement project.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, said: “Pot tending cranes are the workhorses of any aluminium smelter, and driving automation offers significant potential to reduce risks for people and improve efficiency and cost. Our new cranes will boost automation in our potlines from the day they are installed, and we expect to make great progress in further automation during these cranes’ working lives. These cranes are an investment in the long-term robustness of our operations, and will help enable us to create value for many decades to come. Using technology to enhance operations is at the heart of EGA’s Industry 4.0 strategy.”

Sébastien Gauguier, Aluminium Division President of Fives Group, said: “Fives has worked with EGA since aluminium production began in the UAE in 1979 and we are pleased to continue to earn the trust of the largest ‘premium aluminium’ producer in the world. Through our partnership with EGA we will together lead the industry in crane automation in aluminium smelters.”

EGA has more than 80 reduction cell tending cranes across its Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah sites in total.