Chalco to develop Jizan aluminium smelter

29 November 2007
Aluminuim Corporation of China (Chalco) has signed an agreement with MMC International Holdings of Malaysia and the local Saudi Binladin Group to build, own and operate an aluminium smelter in Jizan Economic City.

The cost of the smelter is about $3bn and output will be 1 million tonnes a year (t/y).

Following a preliminary memorandum of understanding signed in October, Chalco signed a definitive agreement in late November with MMC and Saudi Binladin, which are developing the city.

Chalco will hold a 40 per cent stake in the project company, Sino-Saudi Jizan Aluminium. MMC will take a 20 per cent share and a local consortium including Saudi Binladin the remaining 40 per cent (MEED 5:10:07).
The timing of the tendering process is not yet clear, but with construction of the smelter set to start in the second half of 2008. Interested companies are expected to be invited to bid for contracts early next year. The project should be completed by 2012.
Alumina for the smelter will be supplied by Chalco. The company will also distribute the aluminium produced.
An associated 1,860MW power plant will be built costing an estimated $2bn. MMC will take a 50 per cent stake in the plant, which will eventually form part of a power generating complex serving the whole city. Total output will be in excess of 5,000MW.

The Chalco smelter is one of the first major projects to be launched in Jizan Economic City, and one of two aluminium smelters to be developed there.
The local Western Way for Industrial Development Company (WWIDC) is leading the consortium investing in the city's other aluminium complex.

Other firms involved in the second complex include Gerald Metals of the US, and two Chinese state-owned companies, China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach) and China Non-ferrous Metals Industries Foreign Engineering & Construction Company.

The development includes an alumina refinery for which WWIDC has signed a preliminary agreement with Greece’s S&B Industrial Minerals to supply 1.1 million t/y of bauxite to the project. Gerald Metals has also committed to supply bauxite feedstock (MEED 27:04:07).

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