Emirates Aluminium (Emal) is due to approach banks to start raising funding for its $5bn second phase expansion project in the first quarter of 2012.

Sources close to the project say that negotiations with export credit agencies (ECAs) to provide financing to the project are now nearing completion, and that discussions with commercial banks should start in the New Year.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which is acting as financial adviser to Emal on the project, began talks with ECAs in April (MEED 01:04:11).

Emal is a joint venture of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company and Dubai Aluminium (Dubal). Phase two of the Emal project will almost double production capacity at the Taweelah site to 1.3 million tonnes a year. It will involve building the world’s longest smelting line covering 1.7 kilometres, making Emal one of the world’s largest single-site aluminium producers.