In November 2007 Aluminum Corporation of China (Chalco) signed an agreement with MMC International Holdings of Malaysia and the local Saudi Binladin Group to develop the smelter (MEED 27:11:08).

MMC and Saudi Binladin are developing the city.

The project could require up to $4bn of debt, depending on the final debt:equity ratio on the development.

The mandate adds to HSBC’s work on the kingdom’s economic cities, following the award of a mandate for financial advisory on all the infrastructure work at the King Abdullah Economic City (MEED 29:8:08).

The latter mandate will cover infrastructure development, a port and an aluminium smelter, all of which could total more than $15bn.