|12-22-2014, 08:41 PM||#1|
Ma`aden`s joint venture with Alcoa reports first alumina creation
The Maaden alumina refinery, a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Mining Co. (Maaden) and Alcoa Inc., has produced its first alumina, the two companies stated on Sunday.
"As the lowest-cost aluminum complex in the world, the Ma`aden Alcoa joint venture is an important plank of Alcoa`s strategy to create a globally competitive commodity business,” said Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld.
The alumina produced by the Maaden alumina refinery will go to the Aluminum Rolling Mill in Saudi Arabia, where it would start producing aluminum to supply Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and other markets.
The refinery will refine Saudi Arabian bauxite from the company’s aluminum mine at Al Ba’itha.
Once fully operational, the refinery will have an output of 1.8 million metric tonnes per year (mtpy) of alumina, which will be transferred to the adjacent smelter to produce 740,000 mtpy of high quality aluminum products.
This chain will deliver the best operational efficiency and will create the world’s most competitive aluminum complex.
The Maaden refinery, based at Ras Al Khair, is the first refinery of its kind to operate in the region.
Improving demand outlook, together with tighter alumina supply around the world is likely to boost aluminum prices in the near and medium terms. Three-month aluminum on the London Metal Exchange was trading near at a two-month low at $1,906.50 a tonne.
The outlook for aluminum demand is somewhat strong, but prices have been declining recently on fears of a possible rise in U.S. interest rates.
Higher interest rates increase the costs of carrying inventories, and affect the price of storable commodities negatively, increase the appeal of producing more at lower rates, and reduce the prices of internationally traded commodities.
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