Ma'aden and Alcan sign US$7 billion aluminium agreement
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 30 APR 07: Dr. Abdullah Al-Dabbagh, President and CEO of Ma'aden and Michel Jacques, President and CEO of Alcan Primary Metal Group today signed a heads of agreement opening the way for the two companies to create a strategic joint venture for a world scale aluminium project in Saudi Arabia.
The project will mine bauxite reserves at Az Zabirah in the north of the Kingdom to produce 720,000 tons of aluminium per annum at a purpose built facility in the Minerals Industrial City at Ras Az Zawr on the east coast. Total capital investment in the project is approximately SR26.25 billion (USD 7 billion). Over seventy percent of the aluminium produced will be for export.
Announcing the agreement, His Excellency, Engineer Ali I Al-Naimi, Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Chairman of Ma'aden, said, “I welcome the partnership of Alcan and Ma'aden in realising this landmark project which will be one of the largest, vertically integrated operations of its type in the world. The operation will promote economic growth within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, diversify the country’s economic and industrial base and create employment opportunities through opening up new sectors of economic activity.”
“Alcan is pleased to participate in this outstanding project in the growing and dynamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This world class project has an ideal combination of competitive energy resources, local bauxite, well-developed infrastructure and favourable logistics,” said Mr Dick Evans, President and CEO of Alcan Inc at the signing ceremony in Riyadh. “Consistent with Alcan’s primary metal strategy, this project has the potential to achieve one of the lowest operating costs in the industry and become one of the world’s largest smelters,” he added.
Dr. Dabbagh commented, “This joint venture and our recently signed phosphate agreement with SABIC represent notable milestones in Ma'aden’s vision of expanding the scope of mining and associated industries and making mining the third pillar of Saudi industry, complementing Saudi Aramco and SABIC. We are pleased to have Alcan as our partner for this project. Alcan’s global experience combined with their team’s strong operating capabilities will prove vital in delivering long term success.”
Utilizing the Az Zabirah bauxite mine which has proven reserves for about 30 years, the project will establish an alumina refinery with an annual capacity of 1.6 million tons to feed the aluminium smelter at Ras Az Zawr. The smelter will be designed to accommodate a potential expansion of four additional lines that could increase annual production by over 1.4 million tons. A large power plant supplying 1,400 megawatts of energy and desalinated water to the project, and potentially surplus power to the national grid, will also be constructed in Ras Az Zawr. The new North South Railroad funded by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will be used to transport four million tons of bauxite per year the 600 kilometres to Ras Az Zawr where there will also be a three berth panamax port facility.
Readily available supplies of locally sourced raw materials and the abundance of local dedicated energy resources will ensure that the project competes effectively in global markets. The fully integrated complex at Ras Az Zawr will provide economies of scale and achieve freight advantages through easy access to key markets.
Ma'aden recently announced a SR13 billion (USD 3.4 billion) strategic partnership agreement with SABIC to produce 3 million tonnes per year of Diammonium Phosphate Fertilizer from phosphate rock mined in the north of Saudi Arabia and processed at Ras Az Zawr.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Ma'aden was established as a Saudi Arabian joint stock company in March 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia’s non-petroleum mineral resources and to diversify the Kingdom’s economy away from the petroleum and petrochemical sectors. Ma’aden is engaged in the development, advancement and improvement of all aspects of the mineral industry, mineral products and by-products and related industries in Saudi Arabia. In July 2008 Ma’aden offered 50% of the company’s shares for subscription in a successful SR 9.25 billion IPO. Ma’aden has progressed towards realizing its vision of building a world class mineral enterprise and its mission of being a profitable, publicly owned, international mining company, while maintaining the utmost concern for human resources, health and safety, environmental and social issues.
About Alcan – www.alcan.com
Alcan Inc. (NYSE, TSX: AL) is a leading global materials company, delivering high quality products and services worldwide. With world-class technology and operations in bauxite mining, alumina processing, primary metal smelting, power generation, aluminium fabrication, engineered solutions as well as flexible and specialty packaging today's Alcan is well positioned to meet and exceed its customers' needs.
Alcan is represented by 68,000 employees, including its joint ventures, in 61 countries and regions, and posted revenues of US$23.6 billion in 2006. The Company has featured on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index consecutively since 2003.
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