The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has awarded a SR1bn ($260m) contract to the local Azmeel Contracting & Construction Company to build a new housing development for its employees at Jubail Industrial City.

The local contractor will build 800 villas for the first phase of Mutrafiah housing project, which when fully developed will contain 3,600 villas. Maaden had received bids from contractors in August last year. Australia’s WorleyParsons is consultant for the housing scheme.

The development will provide housing for Maaden employees working at its $10.8bn aluminium complex, currently under construction at the Ras al-Khair Industrial City, located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

Maaden, in joint venture with the US’ Alcoa, is currently developing a 380,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) rolling mill at the Ras al-Khair complex. Production is due to start in tandem with a 740,000-t/y aluminium smelter in 2013. The rolling mill is the largest to be built outside of China in the past 20 years and will provide aluminium sheet to food packaging manufacturers in the kingdom and the rest of the GCC.

In March 2011, Maaden and Alcoa awarded South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction a $1.5bn engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 1.8-million-t/y alumina refinery to be built at the Ras al-Khair complex.  

Maaden holds a 74.9 per cent stake in the aluminium complex, while Alcoa owns the remaining 25.1 per cent.