By Cameron Chai
Ma’aden Aluminium Company, a joint venture (JV) of Alcoa and Ma’aden, has begun construction of alumina refinery at a fully integrated aluminum industrial complex in Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia.
The completed refinery will have a production capacity of 1.8 Mt per year. The refinery will use a sophisticated, engineered natural system to cure, recycle and preserve large amounts of water.
Aluminum smelter and rolling mill of the Ras Al Khair complex is expected to start first commercial production in 2013, which will be followed by the bauxite mine and alumina refinery in 2014.
Ma’aden Aluminium Company’s Chairman, Engineer Abdullah Busfar stated that the company has required the expertise and resources to develop the industrial complex in Saudi Arabia. They also have the guidance and support of the Government. Alcoa will provide necessary technology and skills to carry out the project.
VP of Alcoa, Ken Wisnoski noted that the Ma’aden Alcoa aluminum JV is committed towards application of world-class design as well as low operating costs throughout the complex. He added that it is important to conserve resources to maintain low operating costs. The refinery has several beneficial features, which are designed to minimize its demand on energy and various other natural resources like water. Ma’aden Alcoa JV has also implemented measures to conserve the environment and it has developed a local supplier program to help societies in the future.