United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside of oil and gas, has announced the American University in Dubai as winners of its fifth edition of Al Robot, EGA’s competition that challenges students from UAE universities and higher education institutions to design and construct prototype industrial robots for deployment at EGA’s aluminium smelters.
The winning team members from American University in Dubai were Mostafa Aboelnaga, Mohammad Rashwan, Mohammad AlHadi, Yassin Abdelmeguid and Bilal Serieh. They were coached by Dr. Salem Haggag.
In this year’s competition, students were challenged to design and build a robot that can measure the thickness of materials within EGA’s reduction cells, a task that is currently performed manually. Through this challenge, students were able to apply their academic knowledge in the field of robotics and automation to think creatively and develop a practical solution for the aluminium industry.
The American University of Dubai team’s winning entry was called Robot for Anode Cover Thickness (R FACT). It uses artificial intelligence to interpret images.
Five teams were shortlisted and received funding of AED 50,000 each from EGA to design and build their robots, and three teams proceeded to the finals. The other finalist teams were from Heriot-Watt University and Abu Dhabi University.
Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “I congratulate the American University in Dubai team for their win. The skills students practice in EGA’s Al Robot competition are important for the UAE’s industrial future and the achievement of Operation 300bn. I hope these students will now be inspired to pursue careers in UAE industry.”
EGA’s technology and development team works extensively with universities in both the UAE and internationally, with academic partnerships that include Khalifa University, the
American University of Sharjah, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE, as well as the University of Auckland, University of New South Wales, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Through the EGA Ambassador Programme, EGA also collaborates with universities to bridge the gap between academic studies and workplace experience. This initiative is spearheaded by young Emirati engineers and professionals, who demonstrate the practical applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in UAE industry.
With the goal of reaching 45 per cent in-focus Emiratisation, EGA plans to create 500 additional opportunities for UAE Nationals by 2026 to secure talent for the future and provide opportunities for young UAE Nationals in the industrial sector. By the end of 2022, EGA had achieved an in-focus Emiratisation rate of 42 per cent, one of the highest of any major company.
Since 1975, when it was founded as Dubai Aluminium by His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Global Aluminium has been innovating aluminium to make modern life possible.
Today EGA is the world’s biggest ‘premium aluminium’ producer and the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside the oil and gas industry.
EGA is equally-owned by Mubadala Investment Company of Abu Dhabi and the Investment Corporation of Dubai. It is the largest company jointly owned by the two Emirates.
EGA is an integrated aluminium producer, with operations from bauxite mining to the production of cast primary aluminium. EGA operates aluminium smelters in Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, an alumina refinery in Al Taweelah and a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in the Republic of Guinea.
EGA’s aluminium is the second largest made-in-the UAE export after oil and gas. In 2022, EGA sold 2.72 million tonnes of cast metal. EGA is the only UAE producer and makes the UAE the fifth largest aluminium producing nation in the world.
EGA has more than 400 customers in over 50 countries. In 2022, value-added products accounted for 78 percent of EGA’s cast metal sales. EGA’s aluminium is primarily used in the construction, automotive, packaging, aerospace and electronics industries.
Around 10 per cent of EGA’s aluminium production is sold in the UAE to around 20 downstream aluminium companies that make products with EGA’s aluminium. The growing broader aluminium sector in the UAE supports almost 50,000 jobs. EGA itself employs around 6,500 of these people including more than 1,200 UAE Nationals.EGA has focused on technology development for over 30 years. EGA has used its own technology for every smelter expansion since the 1990s and has retrofitted all its older production lines. In 2016 EGA became the first UAE industrial company to licence its core industrial process technology internationally.
As a corporate citizen of the UAE, EGA aspires in all its operations to be measured amongst the world’s leading metals and mining companies in meeting its environmental and social responsibilities. In 2017, EGA became the first Middle East headquartered company to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a global programme to foster greater sustainability and transparency in the aluminium industry. In 2019, EGA’s Al Taweelah site became the first in the Middle East to receive certification from ASI for its sustainability practices and performance. EGA’s Jebel Ali site was certified in 2021. EGA’s bauxite mining subsidiary, Guinea Alumina Corporation, achieved the first ASI certification in Guinea in 2023. ASI certification is the aluminium industry’s internationally recognised standard for environmental and social performance and governance.
In 2021, EGA began production of CelestiAL solar aluminium, produced with solar power from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park on the outskirts of Dubai. EGA is the first company in the world to make aluminium commercially using the power of the sun.
EGA was formed in 2014 through the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Emirates Aluminium.
EGA’s Jebel Ali aluminium smelter began production as DUBAL in 1979. At almost five square kilometres, this site is five times bigger than Dubai Mall.
EMAL started production in 2009 and its Al Taweelah aluminium smelter was the largest single-site aluminium smelter in the world when completed. EGA’s Al Taweelah site is five times bigger than Al Maryah Island at six square kilometres.
EGA has its own power stations at both sites, producing electricity to meet its needs. EGA’s electricity generation capacity is 6,474 megawatts, making EGA the third largest electricity generator in the UAE after the Dubai and Abu Dhabi utilities. EGA also produces water through desalination units at its power plants.
EGA began production at Al Taweelah alumina refinery in April 2019. EGA’s alumina refinery is the first in the UAE and only the second in the Middle East. The project reduces the UAE’s dependence on imported alumina and supplies over 45 per cent of EGA’s needs.
Bauxite exports from Guinea Alumina Corporation, EGA’s wholly-owned subsidiary in Guinea, began in August 2019. The GAC project was one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in over 40 years.