Kalban and Anis (left) ... exploring clean options

Emirates Global Aluminium has partnered with GE Gas Power to explore hydrogen as a fuel and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) solutions.

A roadmap will be developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of EGA’s existing GE natural gas turbines.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, CEO of EGA, and Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE Gas Power Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

It is in line with the ambitions of the UAE government’s Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, unveiled earlier this month in Glasgow during COP26.

The roadmap will include development of a strategy to support low-carbon industries to contribute towards the achievement of the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

EGA has 33 GE natural gas turbines at Jebel Ali and Al Taweelah, with a total power generation capacity of 5,200 megawatts (MW). Electricity generation accounts for a significant proportion of EGA’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

The MoU is the first GE Gas Power has entered globally to help explore potential solutions to lower the carbon footprint of power generation operations in the aluminium sector.

EGA and GE intend to set up a joint steering committee to create and drive the decarbonisation roadmap forward.

Commenting on the MOU, Kalban said: 'Aluminium has an important role to play in the development of a more sustainable society, and it also matters how sustainably aluminium is made. Aluminium smelting is energy intensive, and generating the electricity required accounts for more than half the global aluminium industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. This work with GE will enable us to determine how we can reduce the carbon intensity of our power generation over the years ahead including by switching to hydrogen, and is an important step in our journey to ensure EGA’s aluminium can play its full part in helping the world tackle the generational challenge of climate change. It will also contribute to the achievement of the UAE’s Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap.'

The decarbonisation roadmap will include:

• Hydrogen: Explore options for replacing natural gas with hydrogen and hydrogen-blended fuels for combustion in EGA’s GE turbines.

• CCUS: Explore the potential to integrate this technology into EGA’s power plants and implement the necessary changes required to the auxiliary and balance of plant systems

On his part, Anis said: 'GE has been supporting EGA with advanced power generation solutions for over 40 years and we are delighted to collaborate with them to accelerate their transition to a cleaner energy future.

'Using hydrogen as a fuel and adopting carbon capture, utilisation and storage solutions could not only enable EGA to lower the carbon emissions from its electricity production, but also help to continue providing firm power on demand, supplying the reliable energy required to support their operations and growth. The initiative can serve as a model to emulate across various energy-intensive industries that require dependable, low carbon power generation capacity.'