A multimillion-dollar aluminium extrusion plant is to be launched in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) in a further boost to the UAE's hopes of becoming a global player in the metals industry.
Abu Dhabi Basic Industries (Adbic) signed a joint venture with Gulf Extrusions to form the Taweelah Aluminium Extrusion Company, the companies said yesterday.
The US$200 million (Dh734.6m) plant will be the first industrial project to be set up in Kizad after the establishment of the Emirates Aluminium (Emal) smelter.
The new company is expected to process aluminium from Emal and sell the finished products to the open market.
Combining both initiatives is likely to help shape the creation of an aluminium industry in the free zone.
"This project with a strong and well-established UAE group puts UAE-generated know-how and manufacturing excellence on the international map and will unlock new international markets," said Jamal al Dhaheri, the chief executive of Adbic.
"This is one of a series of industrial projects by Adbic and an example of the public-private partnership model pursued by us."
The venture also reflects a further significant partnership between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Adbic, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi Government's General Holding Corporation (GHC), is an industrial and investment company intended to expand the emirate's profile within industry sectors.
Gulf Extrusions is a flagship operation of Al Ghurair Group, an influential family-owned company with interests spanning industry and retail. Gulf Extrusions already operates a plant at Jebel Ali close to its materials supplier, Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal), another aluminium smelter.
Dubal and Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, are 50-50 partners in Emal, located at Kizad in Al Taweelah near the border of the two emirates.
Taweelah Aluminium Extrusion Company's plant is designed with a production capacity of 50,000 tonnes a year and is due to be built on a 23.5 hectare plot of land adjacent to Emal.
Emal is expected to supply the plant with feedstock of liquid aluminium and aluminium billets.
"This joint-venture underlines the immense growth potential of the Middle East's aluminium industry and likewise reaffirms our commitment to further strengthen the region's reputation as a leading supplier in the global market," said Modar al Mekdad, the general manager of Gulf Extrusions.
Catering to the industrial, car making, transport and construction sectors, the plant's product range is intended to be the most diverse in the region.
The plant is also likely to be the most technologically advanced in the Middle East and North Africa region, Taweelah said.
The project is an important step in attempts to position Kizad as a one-stop shop for industry. More than 100 companies have applied to set up at the free zone, which at 417 sqkm of industrial land is Abu Dhabi's largest infrastructure scheme to date.
As part of the efforts, Emal has been preparing incentives for companies to set up next to its smelter, including a limited-time discount on the metal it produces.
The combined efforts of Emal and Dubal mean the UAE can now produce a total of about 1.75 million tonnes of the metal annually.
But Emal will make a decision this summer about whether to go ahead with an expansion that would raise its own capacity to 1.5 million tonnes.