The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is set to become the world's largest © BMW
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is set to become the world's largest © BMW

BMW sourcing solar aluminium from the UAE

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
2 February 2021

BMW has become the first customer for aluminium produced in the UAE using solar energy.

Under the deal Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) will supply 43,000 tonnes of CelestiAL aluminium each year, made with power from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the desert outside Dubai.

BMW said sourcing green aluminium would enable it to avoid around 2.5m tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next 10 years, which represents about 3% of the target the company has set for its supplier network.

Using solar aluminium from EGA would cut BMW’s emissions by 222,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, said UAE state news agency WAM.

Andreas Wendt, BMW board member for purchasing and supplier network, said the company was aiming to cut emissions in its supplier network by 20% by 2030. “We aspire to lead the way in sustainability and implement our sustainability goals in a systematic manner,” he said.

“We will be able to meet over 50% of our CO2 targets for the supplier network, just by using green power. The use of solar electricity for producing aluminium is a major step in this direction.” 

BMW has sourced metal from EGA since 2013 in an annual supply contract and the deal for solar aluminium, worth a “three-digit million euro sum”, will cover almost half the requirements of Plant Landshut, BMW’s only production facility for light metal casting in Europe.

Last year Plant Landshut produced 2.9m metal components including engine parts such as cylinder heads and crankcases, parts for electric drive trains, and vehicle body parts.

BMW said without corrective action, switching to electric vehicles would increase CO2 emissions per vehicle in the supply chain by more than a third by 2030 because producing battery cells and aluminium was highly energy intensive.

The company aims to lower CO2 emissions per vehicle by 20% from 2019 levels.

As part of this BMW has agreed with suppliers that going forward only green power will be used for producing battery cells.

The company also said it was establishing carbon footprint as a new contract award criterion for its supply chain and began implementing this for tenders with the biggest carbon footprint in 2020.

Aluminium will become increasingly important as a lightweight material to offset the heavy weight of batteries, BMW said.

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