Concrete Poured for Ma’aden Alcoa Alumina Refinery

The Ma’aden Alcoa aluminum joint venture has poured the first concrete in the con-struction of the alumina refinery at their fully integrated aluminum complex at Ras Al Khair on the east coast of Saudi Arabia. Design capacity of the refinery is 1.8 mil-lion mt/y of smelter-grade alumina. The plant will be the first alumina refinery in the Middle East and will include a techno-logically advanced system to treat, recycle and conserve significant volumes of water.

The $10.8-billion Ma’aden Alcoa alu-minum project includes development of a bauxite mine with initial capacity of 4 mil-lion mt/y, an alumina refinery with initial capacity of 1.8 million mt/y, an aluminum smelter with initial capacity of 740,000 mt/y, and a rolling mill, with initial capaci-ty of 380,000 mt/y. All aspects of the pro-ject are designed for significant expansion.

Construction of the smelter and rolling mill began in October 2010. First commercial production from these plants is scheduled for 2013, followed by first commercial production of alumina from the mine and alumina refinery in 2014. Alcoa will supply alumina to the smelter in the interim period.

The bauxite mine is located at Al Ba’aitha, near Quiba in northern Saudi Arabia. Bauxite will be transported by rail to the refinery site.

In addition to being the location of the Ma’aden Alcoa alumina refinery, alu-minum smelter, and rolling mill, the Ras Al Khair complex is also the site of Ma’aden Phosphate’s integrated chemi-cal and fertilizer facilities. The phos-phate complex consists of a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid plant, an ammonia plant, a diammonium phos-phate (DAP) granulation plant, a co-gen-eration plant, and a desalination plant, as well as related infrastructure. The plants process phosphate concentrate brought by rail from a phosphate mine and concentrator at Al Jalamid in north-ern Saudi Arabia. Design capacity is about 3 million mt/y of granular DAP, plus approximately 400,000 mt/y of excess ammonia and about 200,000 mt/y of excess phosphoric acid.

As featured in Womp 2012 Vol 03 -