ITOCHU Announces Agreement with Emirates Global Aluminium for Procurement of Environmentally Friendly Raw Materials for Aluminum

For the first time in Japan, aluminum raw materials produced using solar power will be supplied to Kobe Steel.

December 19, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that Emirates Global Aluminium (headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer; hereinafter “EGA”) and ITOCHU have agreed to sell environmentally friendly raw materials for aluminum produced using solar power to Kobe Steel, Ltd. (headquartered in Kobe, Hyogo; Mitsugu Yamaguchi, President, CEO and Representative Director, hereinafter “Kobe Steel”) This is the first agreement for the procurement of aluminum produced using solar power.

While aluminum is essential in the realization of a sustainable society due to its light weight and extremely high recyclability, the smelting process consumes a large amount of electricity. Therefore, environmentally friendly aluminum raw materials produced with low-carbon electricity is drawing attention, particularly in the transportation machinery and construction industries.

EGA has been operating a stable aluminum smelting business using thermal power from natural gas in the United Arab Emirates. In response to demand within the aluminum industry for the achievement of carbon neutrality, EGA began procuring electricity from solar power generation facilities being increasingly built in the UAE and partly switching the source of the power used in smelting. This is the first time in the world that aluminum smelting is solar powered. EGA has been supplying power generally to the automobile industry.

In May 2021, Kobe Steel announced its plan to take on the challenge of carbon neutrality. It is reducing the CO2 emissions of entire value chains with the goal of increasing corporate value while transitioning to carbon neutrality.

In light of this, ITOCHU will contribute to reducing the carbon emissions of the entire industry by selling to users in Japan the aluminum raw materials imported from EGA, with which ITOCHU has built a strong, long-term business relationship.

ITOCHU included “enhancing our contribution to and engagement with the SDGs through business activities” in the basic policies in its Medium-term Management Plan. ITOCHU will continue to contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society through diffusion of environmentally friendly raw materials.

From the left, Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC with Chief Executive Officer, Abdulnasser Bin Kalban.
Kobe Steel, Ltd.: Executive Officer, Sumikazu Hoda 
ITOCHU Corporation: Kenji Seto, Executive Officer and President, Metals & Minerals Company