Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), the company formed through a merger of Emirates Aluminium (Emal) and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal), has started to look for a financial adviser to work on its alumina refinery scheme.

The refinery, expected to cost about $1.5bn, will be built at the Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad) in Taweelah in Abu Dhabi, adjacent to the existing EGA aluminium smelter.

Once appointed, the adviser will be asked to review financing options for the alumina refinery, and how any additional fundraising will affect the existing debt, raised in the previous five years to fund the current aluminium complex.

In March, a $4bn debt financing for the second-phase expansion of the Taweelah smelter was completed. Previously, the company had raised $4.8bn to fund the first phase of the smelter.

The alumina refinery is part of a plan being led by Abu Dhabi’s investment fund Mubadala Development Company, one of the major shareholders in EGA, to transform the UAE into a global hub for aluminium production. Once completed, the refinery would allow EGA to have greater control over its supply chain by converting bauxite ore into alumina.

In early September, EGA awarded three contracts for a feasibility study for the scheme.