Executives from the two companies poured first concrete for the project’s 380kt/y rolling mill. The mill will be the only one in the Gulf region capable of producing food grade can sheet which has many applications including the manufacture of beverage cans.

The group also copleted the official ground breaking for the project’s 1.8Mt/y alumina refinery.

The Ma’aden Alcoa joint venture will be the region’s only aluminum operation with a captive supply of alumina. The bauxite that will be refined into alumina will be transported by rail from the project’s 4Mt/y mine at Al Ba’aitha.

The project’s rolling mill and smelter constitute the first phase of the project, due to become operational in 2013 while the mine and refinery as the second phase will come on stream in 2014. The interim supply of alumina will come from Alcoa.

The Ma’aden-Alcoa joint venture comprises: A 4Mt/y bauxite mine; a 1.8Mt/y alumina refinery; a 740kt/y aluminum smelter; and a 380kt/y rolling mill.