The owners of the UAE’s two aluminium smelters have completed a merger to form one of the world’s largest producers of primary aluminium.

Shareholders in Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) and Abu-Dhabi-based Emirates Aluminium (Emal) have combined their assets to create Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA).

The combined production accounts for half the GCC’s total primary aluminium output, with EGA’s production expected to reach 2.4 million tonnes a year (t/y) by mid-2014.

The merger makes EGA the world’s fifth-largest producer of primary aluminium after Russia’s Rusal, British-Australian Rio Tinto, US-based Alcoa and Aluminium Corporation of China, based on 2011 figures from London-based consultancy CRU.

In September 2013, Emal started production at its phase-two smelter expansion, which was carried out with a budget of $4.5bn. The Taweelah site, located halfway between the cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, also has the potential of a phase-three smelter expansion and the construction of downstream production units.

Guinea Alumina Corporation, which mines bauxite and refines alumina in Guinea, West Africa, has also been incorporated into EGA.

The merger’s completion was announced by shareholders, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Mubadala Development Company and Investment Corporation of Dubai. The deal was initially announced in June 2013.