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LIBERTY Steel Signs MoU with AD Ports Group to Explore Plans to Host a Green Iron Production Facility in KEZAD

LIBERTY Steel Signs MoU with AD Ports Group to Explore Plans to Host a Green Iron Production Facility in KEZAD

December 11, 2023

UAE, 11 December, 2023: Global steel producer LIBERTY Steel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AD Ports Group (ADX: ADPORTS), the leading facilitator of global trade, logistics, and industry, to develop solutions for importing high-quality magnetite ore to the UAE, from Australia. 

The agreement has the potential to play a significant role in decarbonising international iron and steel production by combining LIBERTY’s access to 4 billion tons of South Australia’s premium grade magnetite ore - an ideal feedstock for green iron and steel production - with the UAE’s huge renewable energy potential and the advanced infrastructure and connectivity offered by AD Ports Group. Khalifa Port has been ranked as the 3rd most efficient container port globally, in the recently published Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) developed by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence. 

Under the MoU, the two companies will explore plans to host a green iron production facility in the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi (KEZAD) and related port infrastructure and conveyor system in Khalifa Port, contributing to the UAE’s ambitions to grow its manufacturing base by 2031.   
The MoU is part of LIBERTY’s early stage concept development to convert its magnetite ore into high quality green iron in the UAE using gas and transitioning to green hydrogen once it becomes available at scale by 2031 and 2050.  Under LIBERTY’s plans, the high value green iron would be exported to markets, including to its own facilities across Europe in Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the UK.  Demand for green iron and steel is forecast to reach over U$400bn by 2030, presenting a significant market opportunity for the UAE, and delivering real action to decarbonise supply chains. 

Saif Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer -Ports Cluster, AD Ports Group, commented: "Our MoU demonstrates AD Ports Group’s commitment to global collaboration that enables progress within alternative energy infrastructure and supply chain. AD Ports Groups’ collaboration with LIBERTY Steel aligns with the objectives of UAE’s visionary leadership for both economic diversification and a greener future. Under the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy and Operation 300bn industrial strategy This agreement has the potential for major strides in the decarbonisation of the iron and steel production industry and accelerates the transition to Net Zero for the next generation.” 

Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG Alliance, commented, “We are delighted to partner with AD Ports Group in pursuit of our common goal to decarbonise the global iron and steel supply chain. LIBERTY’s major Australian reserves of magnetite can drive international development of green iron and steel hubs, enabling large-scale adoption of green hydrogen in global steel production. LIBERTY is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and the UAE’s huge renewable energy and hydrogen potential, combined with AP Ports infrastructure advantages can make it an ideal partner in our vision for green iron production here in the UAE.  There is no solution to reach net zero without addressing the largest industrial emitter of CO2.”

In 2017, the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 was unveiled; an ambitious plan to address the country’s rapidly growing energy demands, spurred by a burgeoning economy. This strategy focuses on tripling the contribution of renewable energy and earmarks an investment of AED 150 to 200 billion by 2030. Acknowledging the critical impacts of climate change, the UAE is committed to diversifying its energy sources; this involves an integrated approach that combines renewable, nuclear, and clean energy sources, including solar and green hydrogen. In a significant update this year, the UAE revised its renewables capacity target, increasing it to 14.2 GW by 2030, up from the current 3.7 GW. The largescale decarbonisation project outlined within this MoU is setting a clear path to meeting this ambitious goal.