The USD 10.8 billion aluminium plant at Ras al-Khair, a JV between Ma'aden and US based Alcoa, shut one of its smelting lines in mid October 2013 due to problems encountered during a ramp up of production.

Ma'aden in a Saudi stock market statement said: “The ramp up and increase of the first potline production is expected to reach production capacity within the second quarter of 2014.” It did not say when production resumed.

The other potline, a series of containers used to smelt aluminium, did not have to shut during its initial ramp up. The two lines have a combined production capacity of 740,000 tonnes a year of aluminium.