Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has extended the deadline for banks to respond to a request to finance its $3.6bn phase two of its aluminium complex.

The deadline has been extended from 8 June until mid-June at the request of several banks in the kingdom who say the timeline originally envisaged by Maaden and its financial advisers is too aggressive.

Banks were sent details of the financing plan for the project on 7 May (MEED 13:05:11). Maaden, and its Canadian partner on the project, Alcoa, are looking for $2.16bn debt, with the rest of the project costs coming from the sponsors.

Sources involved in the deal say the banking group is expected to be predominately made up of Saudi banks. “Pricing is likely to be very low on this deal because there is a lot of liquidity in the Saudi banks at the moment, and that will make it unattractive to international banks,” says a banker in Riyadh.

The extension for bank commitments is not expected to have a knock-on effect on financial close of the deal, says a banker close to the project. Banks are currently still being informed about the extension.

The UK’s Standard Chartered and the local Riyad Bank are acting as financial advisers on the project.