Ras al-Khair Minerals City, Saudi Arabia

18 September 2012

Ras al-Khair, also known as Mineral Industrial City, lies 60 kilometres north of Jubail and is being developed by the Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu (RCJ&Y)

When completed, Ras al-Khair will house a major fertiliser complex, a fully integrated aluminium facility and a port. Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) expects 27,000 jobs to be created at Ras al-Khair when all the planned projects are fully operational. The majority of the infrastructure is now in place, with most of the roads completed, as well as the railway and a major port.

The Saudi Ports Authority expects more than 4.3 million tonnes a year (t/y) of mineral derivative exports when Ras al-Khair’s two major projects are fully operational. However, this figure does not include any exports of downstream aluminium products. The authority anticipates imports to reach 660,000 t/y.

Power and desalinated water will be supplied by the local Saline Water Conversion Corporation. A combined-cycle power plant is being constructed, with a capacity of 2,800MW. A water desalination plant is also under execution, which when completed will provide 228 million gallons a day (g/d) of water using multi-stage technology, and 68 million g/d using reverse osmosis.

The North-South Railway (also called SAR), linking bauxite and phosphate mines at Al-Jalamid in the north of the kingdom to the industrial complex at Ras al-Khair, began operations in May 2011. Saudi Railways Company is planning to extend the line further south to Jubail and Dammam. The railway transports 5 million t/y of phosphates to Ras al-Khair from Al-Jalamid.

One of the main reasons Ras al-Khair could prove attractive to investors is the relatively low cost of building a conversion plant that uses aluminium as feedstock.

Speaking at a conference earlier this year, Khalid al-Luhaidan, director of planning, strategy and business development for Maaden, laid out the costs for investors planning to build a conversion plant in the city. Initial capital expenditure of $100m-150m would enable the construction of a 50,000-t/y plant that could produce automotive parts or aluminium foil and sheeting.

Maaden and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation will offer potential investors full technical support and it is believed that preferential rates for rent and utilities will be available, as well as loans from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund.


Royal Commission for Jubail & Yanbu
: www.rcjy.gov.sa
Tel: (+966) 1 479 4445

Saudi Industrial Development Fund
: www.sidf.gov.sa
Tel: 800 116 0004
Tel: (+966) 1 477 4002

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.