RIYADH, (Reuters) – Alcoa and state-controlled Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Maaden) have started work on a plant that would be the world’s largest fully integrated aluminium complex, Maaden said on Saturday.
The $10-billion Maaden-Alcoa joint venture will start by developing a fully integrated industrial complex, consisting of a bauxite mine at Ba’aitha and an alumina refinery, aluminum smelter and rolling mill at Ras Al-Zour, it said in a statement.
“Groundbreaking has now officially begun to pave the way for construction of the smelter and rolling mill that will serve the packaging and other industries”.
The plant aims to become the world’s “lowest-cost supplier of primary aluminum, alumina and aluminum products”, Maaden said.
It will also be the Middle East’s first food-grade can sheet rolling mill, Ken Wisnoski, a senior Alcoa executive, said in the statement.
The smelter and rolling mill is to begin operations in 2013 with the mine and refinery expected to come onstream in 2014, it added.