RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Aug 10, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Senior executives from Ma'aden and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) today joined project teams at Ras Al Khair in Saudi Arabia to commemorate two major landmarks in the construction of their $10.8 billion integrated aluminum joint venture.
The day's initial ceremony took place as the team poured first concrete for the project's state-of-the-art-rolling mill. With an initial capacity of 380,000 tons per year, the rolling mill will be one of the most technically advanced in the world and the only one in the Gulf region capable of producing food grade can sheet which has many applications including the manufacture of beverage cans.
The second landmark ceremony saw the official ground breaking for the project's alumina refinery which will have an initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tons per year. The Ma'aden Alcoa joint venture will be the region's only aluminum operation with a captive supply of alumina. The bauxite that will be refined into alumina will be transported by rail from the project's 4-million-ton-per-year mine at Al Ba'aitha.
"To reach two such major landmarks in one day illustrates the focused and collaborative approach of the project team and we all congratulate them on this noteworthy achievement," commented Engr. Khalid Al Mudaifer, Ma'aden's President and CEO.
"When operational, as well as creating excellent shareholder value, this project will create a platform for numerous new industries in the Kingdom, creating tens of thousands of employment opportunities over and above those in the operations themselves." commented by Engr. Abdullah Busfar, Ma'aden Vice President & Board Chairman of Ma'aden Aluminium Company after the ceremonies at Ras Al Khair.
"These are significant milestones in the development of the first fully integrated aluminum complex," said Ken Wisnoski, president of Alcoa's Global Primary Products Growth business. "These achievements represent the disciplined execution of our project schedule and budget."
The project's rolling mill and smelter constitute the first phase of the project, due to become operational in 2013 while the mine and refinery as the second phase will come on stream in 2014. The interim supply of alumina will be furnished by Alcoa.
About the Ma'aden-Alcoa joint venture
In its initial phases, the joint venture will develop a fully integrated industrial complex that will become the world's preeminent and lowest-cost supplier of primary aluminum, alumina, and aluminum products, with access to the growing markets of the Middle East and beyond. The complex comprises:
-- A bauxite mine with an initial capacity of 4 million metric tons per year;
-- An alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tons per year;
-- An aluminum smelter with an initial capacity of 740,000 metric tons per year; and
-- A rolling mill, with initial capacity of 380,000 metric tons per year. The mill will be one of the most technically advanced mills in the world and the only one in the Gulf region capable of producing food grade can sheet
First commercial production from the smelter and mill is scheduled for 2013, followed by first commercial production of alumina from the mine and refinery complex, scheduled for 2014. Alcoa will supply alumina to the smelter in the interim period.