Bechtel started construction on Saudi Arabia's first ever aluminium smelter at the Ma’aden minerals industry complex at the Ras Az Zawr Minerals Industrial City
. The industry complex is being developed by the Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden and will also house an alumina refinery and a rolling mill. Bechtel will provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for the aluminium smelter.
The minerals industry complex is situated 90 kilometers north of Jubail on the Arabian Gulf coast. Bechtel has managed the development of the Jubail Industrial City
since the mid-1970s.
The $4 billion smelter will be constructed as two high amperage potlines utilizing Pechiney AP technology and will produce 740,000 tonnes of aluminium per year. Most of the aluminium will be exported, while at least 250,000 tonnes will feed the adjacent rolling mill. The smelter will include a carbon plant for anode production, ingot cast house, material handling, and support facilities.
Aluminium operations at Ras Az Zawr will be powered by a joint power and desalination plant, which will generate 2,400 MW of electricity and 1.025 million cubic meters of water per day. The aluminium complex will use 1,350 MW of electricity and 25,000 cubic meters of water per day.
The first production from the aluminium smelter and the rolling mill is expected in 2013.