The $750mn contract covers the installation of reduction cells and pot room equipment by the firm, which is a joint venture of the UAE-based Dutco and Australian firm McConnell Dowell.

The first cell will be installed in December. The project should be completed by June 2010 and metal production will begin shortly after.

“This is a big package for us,” says Mike Copping, Dutco McConnell Dowell’s finance officer. “It is a big project.”

The contract includes the installation of the potshells and superstructures. Dutco is also responsible for cathode rodding and sealing and potlining. This will be done by the UK’s York Linings.

On completion of the first phase, the smelter will produce 585,000 tonnes a year of primary aluminium.

A consortium of Italy’s Fata and the UK’s K Home International are building the anode baking plant and cast house, while Australia’s Kempe Engineering is building the anode service plant.

Among other companies involved on the project, Canada’s SNC Lavalin is carrying out the engineering, construction, procurement and commissioning of the pot room building and service area; and China Great Wall Construction Corporation is building the anode superstructures.

Other Qatalum contract winners include France’s Solios group for the fume treatment and paste plants; and Norway’s ABB for the rectifier stations and pot control system. Saudi Arabian Trading & Construction has also begun work on a residential village that will house the 10,000 workforce who will work on the Qatalum project.

The contract to build the power plant has been awarded to US-based General Electric with South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. Geneva-based Archirodon Construction (Overseas) has been awarded the marine works package for the seawater intake system. (MEED 2:11:07).