Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has awarded a $65m construction and technology deal to a joint venture of Finland’s Outotec and Canada’s Hatch, for a new aluminium facility at Ras al-Zour, on the Gulf coast of the kingdom.

The contract for the integrated digestion and evaporation plant will involve engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, as well the patent tube technology developed jointly by Outotec and Hatch.

The plant is expected to have a capacity of 1.8 million tonnes a year (t/y) of alumina and first output is expected in 2014.

US-based Alcoa and Maaden formed a joint venture in late 2009 when Alcoa’s closest rival Rio Tinto Alcan pulled out of the joint venture with Maaden. (MEED 25:3:10).

Alumina is the raw material from the ore bauxite used in the production of aluminium. The Maaden aluminium project will include a 4 million t/y bauxite mine, a 1.8 million t/y alumina refinery, a 740,000 t/y aluminium smelter and a 380,000 t/y rolling mill.