The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) and the US’ Alcoa has awarded the contract to construct the cast house package at their $5bn aluminium smelter at Ras al-Zour to South Korea’s Samsung Engineering.

“Samsung is the winner on this one with the bid of around $180m,” says a source familiar with the project. “The contract will be similar to the other packages on the project in that the equipment procurement novated over to the contract.”

The cast house section of a smelter is the area where the primary aluminium is mixed with other minerals to make different alloys before being cast into ingots and billets. 

The US’ Bechtel is carrying out the engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) at the 740,000 tonne-a-year (t/y) smelter.

“Bechtel is executing the smelter project by awarding a lot of smaller packages as opposed to fewer lump-sum turnkey deals,” the source says. 

Completion of the smelter is expected by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

The cast house award comes as further good news to Samsung and the company is enjoying a run of contract wins at Ras al-Zour.

In February, it was announced that Samsung had won the contract to build Maaden/Alcoa’s 380,000-t/y rolling mill at the Ras al-Zour complex in a deal worth $590m (MEED 18:2:11).

Samsung is also executing a $1bn ammonia plant for Maaden at Ras al-Zour, which forms part of its $5bn-plus fertiliser complex currently being constructed. Both complexes will make up the minerals city being planned by Maaden.

As well as the smelter and rolling mill, the Ras al-Zour aluminium complex will also include a 1.8 million-t/y alumina refinery, with a 4 million-t/y bauxite mine being built at Al-Baitha.

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