Maaden begins production at $4bn aluminium smelter

Facility will convert bauxite into 740,000 tons of aluminium a year

Ras Al Khair Aluminium Smelter. Photo: Bechtel
Ras Al Khair Aluminium Smelter. Photo: Bechtel

Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma'aden has announced that it began commercial production at its huge aluminium smelter in Ras Al Khair Industrial City on Monday (1 September).

The smelter is part of a huge integrated project at the city, which is 90km north of Jubail Industrial City and is run by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. It will refine bauxite from a mine at Al Ba'itha in the Qassim region, which is being transferred via the Kingdom's North-South Railway.

The smelter will be capable of producing 740,000 tonnes of aluminium a year. It was built by Bechtel and construction was completed last year. It has 720 furnaces and 4 pot lines, each of which is 1.2km long. More than 228,000m3 of concrete and 48,000 tonnes of steeel were used during its construction.

Bechtel had 14,000 employees working on the project during its peak and a total of 38,000 people working on it during its three-year lifespan.

Over 78mn hours were racked up during its construction and the project team worked two long stretches without a single workday lost to safety incidents: 32mn hours and 29mn hours.


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