The US$6bn project to develop a world-class greenfield aluminium smelter complex at the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone in Abu Dhabi has gathered momentum as a contract for the feasibility study and environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the ambitious project was awarded to SNC Lavalin.

The project is being developed jointly by Dubai Aluminium Company (Dubal) and Mubadala Development Company.

Under the contract SNC-Lavalin will conduct a full feasibility study and EIA and will recommend strategies to mitigate any environmental impacts and to ensure full compliance with local and international standards and regulations.

The first phase of the project with around 700,000 tonnes annual capacity will be operational in 2010. When all phases of the project are completed, the smelter will have 1.4mn mtpa annual capacity, which will make it the largest single site aluminium smelter in the world.

“A project implementation team with senior officials from both companies is currently studying the type of potline, size, layout for the complex, the equipment, power supply arrangements, access to the new port among other aspects,” says Abdulla Jasim bin Kalban, CEO Dubal.

The ownership of the project, according to the joint protocol which was signed between Dubal and Mubadala in February 2006, is to be shared equally. Under the same protocol, Dubal will provide technology and management resources to the project.