The Al Taweelah alumina refinery is the first alumina refinery to be built and commissioned in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the second in the Middle East.

installation of CIS bored piles

The project

The Owner EGA is the world’s largest ‘premium aluminium’ producer and the biggest industrial company in the UAE outside oil and gas. The Al Taweelah (Shaheen) Alumina Refinery is designed for a production capacity of 2 million tonnes of alumina per year and is expected to meet 40% of UAE’s alumina requirements. 


The challenge

Installing 1.0m diameter piles to a maximum depth of 43m, requiring 25m to 30m in sandstone, mudstone (UCS 0.85 to 2.5MPa) and very dense gypsum of UCS 15MPa layers occurring at 35m to 40m depth. Very stringent HSE requirements restricted productivity to proceed normally. 

The solution

Execution of piling works for 35 tanks founded on 910 no. CIS bored piles of 1.0m diameter to a maximum depth of 43m and socketing 25m to 30m into rock formation.

The pile installation work was properly sequenced such that the drilling works progressed independently, and the steel and concrete placement was managed by another team thus achieving the required level of productivity after a slow start.

Five preliminary test piles were installed in various locations on site to confirm the design. Working piles were load tested simultaneously and the locations were handed over within the agreed milestone dates. 

Project facts


Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC

Keller business unit(s)

Keller Grundbau GmbH - Abu Dhabi, UAE

Main contractor(s)

EPCM Contractor: Bechtel-Petrofac JV

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