Gulf Fluor to spend Dh1 billion on increasing capacity and products

The Abu Dhabi-based chemicals producer Gulf Fluor plans to spend Dh1 billion to expand capacity and add new products.

“The expansion will take at least seven years to complete as it takes a long time for feasibility studies, engineering and construction of such a project,” Owaida Al Khaili, the chairman said yesterday. He was speaking during the inauguration of the company’s aluminium fluoride plant in Industrial City Abu Dhabi (Icad).

“We have been thinking about the expansion since day one. Our intention is to put Abu Dhabi on the map of leading chemicals producers.”

The expansion will focus on downstream products that are widely used in refrigeration and cooling applications and other industries.

Gulf Fluor’s Dh1.5 billion complex has capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes per year of aluminium fluoride, which is an important additive used in the production of aluminium.

It is the largest producer of aluminium fluoride by capacity in the region and the fifth-largest globally.

The company has a ready-made market for the product in the GCC, which practically imports all of its requirements estimated at 70,000 tonnes per year. This is expected to rise to 110,000 tonnes a year by 2020.

Mr Al Khaili said that Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), owned jointly by Mubadala and the Investment Corporation of Dubai, is its biggest client and it has also been exporting nearly 25 per cent of its production to smelters in Oman, Qatar and Bahrain.

EGA said this month that it expects its aluminium production to remain steady for the next three years at 2.4 million tonnes annually.

Gulf Fluor’s plant also has capacity to produce 140,000 tonnes per year of sulphuric acid and 54,000 tonnes per year of hydrofluoric acid, which are used in a range of sectors.

Ali Al Mansouri, the chairman of the Higher Corporation for Specialised Economic Zones, or ZonesCorp, which oversees Icad, said: “The opening of this new complex is in line with the strategy and vision of the Abu Dhabi government and Zones-Corp, to achieve greater economic diversification.”

The industrial zone on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi is home to light to medium manufacturing, engineering and processing industries.

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