Emirates Ship Investment Company (Eships) has signed a three-year contract with Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Aluminium (Emal) to annually transport one million tonnes of alumina from Australia.

The company will transport the alumina in 60,000t cargoes and initially unload in Jebel Ali, Dubai, until Khalifa Port at Taweelah in Abu Dhabi is ready.

Emal is also planning to set up a $5.7bn greenfield smelter project, a joint venture between Mubadala and Dubai Aluminium at Taweelah.

The facility is scheduled to be fully operational by January 2011.

Eships will take delivery of two 6,500m3 semi-refrigerated LPG tankers in 2010.