Alcoa, the largest aluminum company in the US and Saudi Arabia's mining company Ma'aden yesterday agreed to invest $10.8-billion joint venture to develop the world's lowest cost aluminium complex in Saudi Arabia.
Alcoa and its partners will own 40 per cent of the joint venture, while Ma'aden will hold 60 per cent and bring the stalled project back on rails.
The project had stalled in 2008 after Rio Tinto's Canadian aluminum subsidiary; Rio Tinto Alcan, holding a 49-per cent stake had pulled out of the project for lack of financing due to the global credit crisis.
Of its 40 per cent, Alcoa will hold 20 per cent and its partners the rest. Each of Alcoa and the partners will invest $900 million over a four-year period and will be responsible for their pro rata share of the project financing, in addition to specific completion commitments.
The Pittsburgh-based aluminum maker said its share of the project is $2.2 billion.
The joint venture will set up a 1.8 million ton-per-year refinery, a 740,000 ton-per-year smelter, a bauxite mine with an annual capacity of 4 million tons and a rolling mill with a capacity of up to 460,000 tons.