Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) and Mubadala have signed the first debt tranche for the Emirates Aluminium expansion project in the UAE.

Dubal confirms to GTR that the deal was signed “recently”, but “is not willing to elaborate on Emal’s financing plan”.

However, news reports indicate that the financing amount is US$3.4bn, with a tenor of 15.5 years. It is split between a US$2.925bn commercial bank loan involving 22 banks, and a US$475mn Islamic tranche.

The deal is said to include a separate US$500mn export credit agency (ECA) tranche to be signed in April.

The financing will be used to double Emal’s annual capacity, pushing it to 1.3 million tonnes of aluminium a year, to be exported to 36 countries.