Ma’aden Alcoa Joint Venture Earns Project Finance Awards For Aluminium Project
Riyadh 17 March 2012: The phase 2 financing of the Ma’aden Alcoa joint aluminium project has recently been awarded the Middle East Mining & Metals Deal of the Year 2011. In addition, Ma’aden has been named as the Middle East Sponsor of the Year 2011 by Project Finance Magazine.
Khalid Al Rowais, Ma’aden Vice President for Finance commented that the aluminium project will strengthen Ma’aden’s position as a major industrial presence in Saudi Arabia, creating jobs, regional development, and providing the basis for the establishment of new downstream industries in the Kingdom. The joint venture partnership with Alcoa will also enable Ma’aden to quickly reach levels of operating excellence and global market reach that will establish the Kingdom as a highly competitive participant in the world’s aluminium marketplace.
Phase 2 financing covers the mine and refinery elements of the fully integrated aluminium operation at Al Ba’itha and Ras Al Khair respectively. In 2010, the first phase of financing consisting of the smelter and rolling projects also earned a Deal of the Year award for the joint venture.
Project Finance cited that the financing for phases 1 and 2 share common features including having nearly the same bank line up, an almost exclusive backing by lenders from the GCC region and having major government support most notably from the Public Investment Fund and the Saudi Industrial Development Fund.
The magazine added that although smaller in terms of volume than phase 1, the take up and pricing on phase 2 is a measure of the appetite for project debt in the GCC and more specifically the local Saudi bank market.
The Ma’aden Alcoa aluminium project is the only one in the Middle East with an integral supply of alumina and its rolling mill will be one of the most technologically advanced in the world and the only one in the region capable of producing food grade can sheet. Ma’aden and Alcoa recently announced commencement of work to extend the product mix of their aluminium complex to include capability for producing about 100,000 metric tons of a wide range of products suitable for further downstream manufacturing. The complex’s smelter and rolling mill are scheduled to begin production in 2013. The mine and refinery will follow in 2014.
Project Finance Magazine, the flagship international infrastructure finance title of Euromoney Publications, honours the biggest project finance deals in the world from various industries including mining, petrochemicals, telecoms, power, oil, gas, rail and private and public partnerships, among others.
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