State-owned Dubai Aluminum, known as DUBAL, said Saturday it bought a 20-percent stake in a calciner project as part of a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Sinoway Carbon Energy Holdings for an undisclosed sum.
DUBAL, which runs the seventh biggest aluminum smelter in the world in relation to output (one million metric tons per annum), said in an e-mailed statement the new venture, known as Sinoway Carbon Company Limited, entails the construction of a 560,000-ton- per-annum calciner in Shandong, China.
DUBAL said further construction of the first phase is at an advanced stage as completion is scheduled for May and the second phase in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The end-product of the calcination process, calcined petroleum coke (CPC), is a strategic raw material for the aluminium smelting industry.
China has a surplus supply of green petroleum coke (GPC), a by- product of oil refining and the raw material consumed by a calciner. China currently produces over 40 percent of annual global GPC/CPC production.
Abdulla Kalban, president and CEO of DUBAL, said investment in Sinoway represented a strategic opportunity to mitigate the company's supply and quality concerns, thus contributing to business continuity. "The aluminium smelting process is extremely sensitive to CPC quality... Good quality GPC is necessary to produce the quality of CPC required by DUBAL, and China's GPC is well within this range," Kalban added.
As DUBAL's home country, the United Arab Emirates has no aluminum reserves beneath its deserts and mountains. DUBAL, founded in 1979, imports all of its raw material needed from abroad, with most of the raw aluminum being shipped into Dubai from Australia.