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October 30, 2012
First Alumina Sets Sail for Ma’aden Alcoa Joint Venture’s Fully Integrated Aluminum Manufacturing Complex in Saudi Arabia
NEW YORK & PERTH, Australia--The first shipment of alumina, the feedstock for the Middle East’s first
fully integrated aluminum manufacturing complex, at Ras Al Khair in the
Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has departed Alcoa’s
(NYSE:AA) Bunbury Port facility in Western Australia.
The shipment of around 47,000 tonnes of alumina marks the latest
milestone in the Ma’aden Alcoa aluminum joint venture’s establishment of
the world’s largest and lowest-cost integrated aluminum complex. The
$US10.8 billion project comprises a bauxite mine inland at Al-Baitha
and, at Ras Al Khair on the east coast, an alumina refinery, aluminum
smelter and rolling mill. The smelter and rolling mill will begin
production in 2013 with the mine and refinery following in 2014.
Alcoa will supply the joint venture’s smelter with alumina until the
dedicated local mine and refinery come on stream.
Ken Wisnoski, President of Alcoa Global Primary Products Growth, said
that the supply of uniformly high quality alumina is essential for
efficient operation of a smelter at any time, but even more so during
the critical commissioning and early operational periods of a new
“The ability to source alumina that can be relied on for its consistent
quality, shipment after shipment, is a critical advantage to us as we
work to bring this world-class smelter on line in 2013,” said Wisnoski.
"It’s reassuring for us that Alcoa’s Western Australian operations are
solidly behind us in this joint venture. The international team deployed
on this project includes many Australians and it is pleasing to see that
contribution now augmented by the supply of world-class feedstock for
the new smelter.”
Alan Cransberg, Managing Director Alcoa of Australia, said that these
shipments are important for both Alcoa’s Australian operations as well
as for Alcoa overall.
”We’re helping build a stronger, lower cost Alcoa. Australian mining and
refining operators are regarded as being amongst the best in the world.
Working collaboratively with their Saudi Arabian counterparts will
expand their experience and capabilities even further. What they learn
will have a direct benefit to Alcoa operations not only in Australia,
but worldwide,” said Cransberg.
First production from the smelter and rolling mill is scheduled for
2013. The smelter will initially produce 740,000 metric tons of primary
metal. The rolling mill will initially produce 380,000 metric tons of
food grade can sheet and auto sheet. Both smelter and rolling mill are
designed for significant expansion.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated
aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of
alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry,
Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace,
automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial
transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the
past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled
products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels,
fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building
systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as
titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral
part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and
engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow
Jones Sustainability Index for 11 consecutive years and approximately 75
percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in
active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31
countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.