Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has delayed the deadline for banks to respond to a request for proposals (RFP) for the financing of its $10.8bn aluminium smelter project in Ras al-Zour.

The deadline has been extended from 29 May to 5 June at the request of several banks. The RFP was launched on 1 May, with the deadline coinciding with another large Saudi financing, the $667m corporate financing for Power & Water Utility Company for Jubail & Yanbu (Marafiq).

One banker in Saudi Arabia says, “For these large commitments it takes some time to get through the approval process for each bank, and there are quite a few very large deals in the Saudi market right now.”

Debt financing for the project is split between a $5bn aluminium smelter, and a further $2.5bn for a aluminium rolling mill. The deal is expected to be predominately financed by the local banks making large Saudi riyal commitments.

In total, the Maaden aluminium complex is expected to cost $10.8bn and will include:

  • A bauxite mine with an initial capacity of 4 million tonnes a year (t/y).
  • An alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1.8 million t/y.
  • An aluminum smelter with an initial capacity of ingot, slab and billets, of 740,000 t/y.
  • A rolling mill, with initial hot-mill capacity of between 250,000 and 460,000 t/y.