The Business Year

Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei

UAE, ABU DHABI - Industry

Up the Amperage

President and CEO, Emirates Aluminium


Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei has been President and CEO of Emirates Aluminium (EMAL) since 2010. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Gonzaga University in the US, and later obtained a Master’s degree in Gas Engineering and Management from the University of Salford. He previously worked at ARCO Dubai for 17 years, where he held key management positions. He also spent time with UAE Offsets Group in positions of increasing seniority. In addition to his current role, he is a Board Member at Dragon Oil and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.

"The GCC is a growing market and the region enjoys many factors that make it highly competitive."

Emirates Aluminium (EMAL), a joint venture between DUBAL and Mubadala Development Company, is the anchor tenant at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD). What is the size of your facility and what are your current production numbers?

EMAL is a 50-50 joint venture between the Mubadala Development Company and Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL). EMAL currently supplies customers around the globe with high-quality, ISO9001 certified aluminum that is available as sow, standard ingots, sheet ingots, foundry ingots, and extrusion billets. The sow and standard ingots are traded on the London Metal Exchange. In 2013, EMAL started producing 800,000 metric tons of aluminum annually, after successfully achieving an amperage increase from 350 kA to 380 kA into each single pot, leading to an additional 50,000 tons annually. In 2014, and after the expansion is complete, EMAL will be producing a total of 1.3 million metric tons of aluminum per year. As a world-leading company operating in a global market, EMAL is set to meet the growing demand for aluminum.

EMAL is nearing completion of its $4.5 billion Phase II expansion, which will make the facility one of the largest smelters in world. What is your outlook for its completion?

Phase I was completed on budget and ahead of schedule and our Phase II development is already 40% complete, on-track, and on budget, with milestone achievements including power plant equipment delivery, first pot cell concrete pouring, and first steel structure already complete. Our Phase II expansion will consist of an additional 444 reduction cells and the introduction of the upgraded DX+ Reduction Cell Technology, a DUBAL-developed technology that enables aluminum to be produced using less energy without compromising quality. Once completed, the potline will be the longest single potline in the world at 1.7 kilometers. As well as an increase in capacity, our Phase II plans will also focus on providing greater product flexibility. Our ISO 9001 certified casthouse will increase from six to nine casting centers, enabling us to respond to changing market demands and accommodate our customers’ specific requirements. This will provide a significant advantage in today’s highly competitive aluminum market.

“The GCC is a growing market and the region enjoys many factors that make it highly competitive.”

How will this project impact the Gulf region’s aluminum industry and its position in the global market?

The majority of EMAL’s aluminum production is targeted toward our growing international customer base. Our focus is on markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the US. Asia remains a strategically important market for EMAL, with almost one-third of the company’s exports targeting the Far East, excluding China. Sales are set to grow in both Europe and North America in 2013. Europe in particular will see a significant rise in sales. In 2011, sales output in Europe represented 23% of EMAL’s total sales. We forecast that in 2013 this figure will increase to 35%. EMAL is highly optimistic in its belief in the future of aluminum both within the GCC and globally. World aluminum demand is forecast to increase by 6% year-on-year over the next decade. Current annual demand for aluminum is 40 million tons, and this is estimated to reach over 70 million tons by the year 2020. Almost 80% of the aluminum produced in the Gulf is exported to different parts of the world, firmly placing the region in a prominent position to meet both local and world demand. With production expected to increase from the current 800,000 tons to 1.3 million tons in less than three years, EMAL is well placed to meet this growing demand.

What will be the size of your workforce once the expansion is completed?

EMAL currently employs 2,000 people, which will rise to 3,000 when Phase II is completed in 2014. EMAL has a strong Emiratization program, which includes guaranteed employment after the successful completion of our Pre-Employment Courses (PECs) covering all aspects of work at the industrial flagship, university scholarships for local students in appropriate disciplines, and a summer training program for local high school students. In addition, EMAL maintains a strong presence at all local recruitment fairs.

Aluminum exports from the UAE showed a year-on-year increase of 102% in 1H2012. What factors are driving this growth?

The GCC is a growing market and the region enjoys many factors that make it highly competitive. The region benefits from low business costs, and the UAE is on the lowest part of the cost curve. Specifically in Abu Dhabi, international investments are welcomed, and EMAL itself has been built within the confines of KIZAD, one of the largest industrial zones in the world, providing opportunities for aluminum downstreaming.

EMAL will host the Middle East’s premier aluminum event in November. Why is the Arab International Aluminum Conference (ARABAL) so important?

Last year and for the first time, three of the industry’s major events were hosted at the same time and in the same place; Abu Dhabi. It was the perfect opportunity to showcase exactly why it is the place to be and EMAL is very proud to announce this year that it’s hosting ARABAL 2013 in November. ARABAL is a leading trade event, specifically designated for the Middle East’s aluminum industry, and it is attended by all primary aluminum producers in the Arab world, which makes it the conference of choice for anyone interested in the Middle East’s aluminum industry.

Sheikh Ahmed has said the UAE’s economy will grow by 3.8% in 2013. What is your forecast for EMAL?

Over recent years EMAL has positioned itself as a reliable supplier of quality metal to the world. Rising from the bare desert sands of Abu Dhabi, the company has invested heavily in the latest technologies to create a state-of-the art aluminum smelter ready to compete with the best in the global market. The leaders of the UAE identified aluminum as the product of the future as part of its vision for creating an economy beyond oil and gas. EMAL was created as one of the leaders in industrial diversification in Abu Dhabi and helps grow the international profile of Abu Dhabi as a place to do business. EMAL is already contributing 0.4% of the UAE’s GDP and providing job opportunities for Emiratis.

© The Business Year – March 2013



You may also be interested in...

Patrice Evra, Coach and Former Football Professional Player


Patrice Evra


Coach and Former Football Professional Player,

Metta World Peace, Founder of Artest Management Group and Former NBA Player


Metta Sandiford-Artest


Founder, Artest Management Group and Former NBA Player

Widad Haddad Vice President & General Manager, UAE, Oman, Yemen & Lebanon Emerson Process Management

UAE, ABU DHABI - Industry

Widad Haddad


Vice President & General Manager, UAE, Oman, Yemen & Lebanon, Emerson Process Management

View All interviews