Alcoa and The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) celebrated the achievement of the First Hot Metal milestone at their joint-venture smelter project at Ras Al Khair in Saudi Arabia. This milestone marks the successful commissioning of the first of 720 smelting furnaces, or pots, and is a key step toward commercial production at the smelter. In its initial phases, the joint venture will develop a fully integrated industrial complex that comprises a bauxite mine with an initial capacity of 4 million metric tons per year, an alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tons per year, an aluminum smelter with an initial capacity of 740,000 metric tons per year and a rolling mill with an initial capacity of 380,000 metric tons per year.

Alcoa and Ma’aden also broke ground for construction of expanded rolling-mill capabilities at their combined aluminum complex in Ras Al Khair. The expanded capabilities will enable the facility to supply aluminum automotive, building and construction sheet and foil stock to Saudi Arabia’s developing new industry and other global markets beginning in 2014, positioning the project to capture growing demand for aluminum from the automotive, building and construction sectors.