A momentous milestone was achieved on 12/12/2012, when the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and Alcoa celebrated the pouring of first hot metal from their joint venture smelter project in Ras Al Khair on the east coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The start up of the first pot is a critical step in the commissioning of full commercial production at the smelter, which will have 720 pots and will produce 740,000 tonnes of aluminum per annum once ramp-up has been completed. It is the sixth smelter in the Gulf region and the first phase in the completion of the Ma’aden-Alcoa aluminum complex, which will also have an integrated aluminum rolling mill and an alumina refinery on the Ras Al Khair site, as well as a bauxite mine in Al Ba’itha.
The event was attended by heads of both companies—including Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer, president and ceo of Ma’aden; Abdullah Saif Al-Saif, chairman of Ma’aden; and Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and ceo of Alcoa—as well as by Saudi royalty, ministers, and key players and contractors. The celebration included the presentation of a ceremonial first ingot, commemorating the achievement of first hot metal only 25 months from the pouring of first concrete.
“Today we see the first aluminium produced in Saudi Arabia, and the launch of a new industry. One based on the natural resources and human talent of the Kingdom, the vision of the government, and the close friendship and collaboration of Ma’aden and our joint venture partner, Alcoa,” said Mudaifer. “The regional strength and expertise of Ma’aden and the technological leadership and global market reach of Alcoa is a winning combination.”
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