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Mon 28 Nov 2011 05:59 PM

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Saudi's Maaden signs $1bn deal for project finance

Mining company inks agreement to fund second phase of aluminium project

Saudi's Maaden signs $1bn deal for project finance
Maaden has won $1bn financing for the second phase of its aluminium project

A unit of the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, also known as Maaden, has signed a $1bn financing agreement with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) for the second phase of its aluminium project.

Consisting of a bauxite mine at Al Ba'itha and an alumina refinery at Ras Al Khair the second phase of the project by Ma'aden Bauxite and Alumina Company, will cost $3.585bn.

The PIF loan will be repaid over a period of 16 years starting in 2017, the company said in a statement.

The project, a joint venture between Maaden (74.9 percent) and Alcoa (25.1 percent) is being built in two phases, both of which are now under construction.

The first phase consists of an aluminium smelter and rolling mill, both situated at Ras Al Khair which will begin operating in 2013.

The mine and refinery are due to come on stream in 2014.

Mansour Al Mayman, secretary general of the PIF, said: "This financing clearly shows the Public Investment Fund's commitment to supporting sustainable industrial projects in Saudi Arabia."

Khalid Al Mudaifer, Maaden's president and CEO, added: "The impact of this new industry will be highly significant in terms of job creation, regional development and economic diversification."

Maaden's aluminium project is the only one in the Middle East with an integral supply of alumina and its rolling mill will be one of the most technologically advanced in the world and the only one in the region capable of producing food grade can sheet.

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