Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and Alcoa (JV)
Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia

Ma’aden Aluminum

The Ma’aden Aluminum Project was a $10.3 billion greenfield project with two major components in Saudi Arabia: a bauxite mine at Al Baitha and the Ma’aden Aluminum complex located at Ras Al Khair (RAK), a purpose-built Mineral Production City 220 kilometers north of Al Khobar. The Aluminum complex located at RAK consists of Alumina Refinery, Smelter, Rolling Mill and Automotive Sheet plants with the associated infrastructure.

Fluor provided project management consultant (PMC) services for the overall Program, including Bauxite Mine, Alumina Refinery, Aluminum Smelter, Rolling Mill, Automotive Sheet Plant and all associated infrastructure. In addition, Fluor was also responsible for the following scopes of work:

  • Integrated infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services – utilities, 27-km gas pipeline, company headquarters, administration and engineering offices, roads, security, wastewater treatment, and other site infrastructure
  • Bauxite Mine & Alumina Refinery – The project was originally awarded in 2010 to the WorleyParsons Fluor (WPF) JV as an EPCM contract, but later transitioned to lump sum EPC contractors with WFP as the PMC
  • Rolling Mill – FEL II & FEL III Basic Engineering and EPCM services which was converted to PMC Oversight services after the work was awarded lump sum to EPC Contractor – 380 kt/yr food grade can sheet
  • Automotive Sheet EPCM services – 50 kta capacity automotive sheet

The site infrastructure included an Alcoa-designed first-of-its-kind engineered wetlands wastewater management system that naturally treats sanitary and industrial wastewater without chemicals or odors for reuse in the manufacturing process and for irrigation. Based on the cost savings realized on the Rolling Mill project, Ma’aden awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) contract for the aluminum sheet facility to Fluor in 2012. The sheet facility was a late addition to the overall project and was important to the development of Saudi Arabia’s automotive manufacturing capability.

Client's Challenge

The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and Alcoa formed a 75/25 joint venture to oversee design, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations and maintenance of the Ma’aden Aluminum Complex and Mine.

For Ma’aden, the project represents the most significant investment to date in the Kingdom's development goal of adding minerals and metals as the third pillar of the country’s economy behind oil and natural gas. Ma’aden also saw this project as making strides toward achieving the Kingdom’s other three strategic goals: capacity building, quality job creation, and balanced regional development. For Alcoa, the project will be the lowest cost aluminum production complex within the Alcoa system, in line with its strategy to lower its overall production cost base and expand its market in the Middle East region.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor was awarded the PMC services for the large-scale Ma’aden Aluminum Complex. Fluor also provided PMC and EPCM services on individual projects. The savings within the overall Program allowed Ma’aden to add the automotive sheet facility later in the project, executed as an EPCM contract by Fluor. A summary of the various project scopes follows:

Integrated Infrastructure Project - Fluor’s scope included Integrated Infrastructure EPCM, including a 27-kilometer gas pipeline, utilities, security, and buildings. The Ma’aden Aluminum Site Complex covers 20 square kilometers.

Bauxite Mine & Refinery Project – WPF JV originally awarded EPCM services, which were converted to PMC services after the project was awarded on lump sum bases to several contractors, on the mine and refinery. The mine has a capacity of 4 million metric tons per year; the refinery’s capacity is 1.8 million metric tons per year. Bauxite is shipped from the mine to the refinery by rail, approximately 560 kilometers west of the integrated site and port facilities. At the refinery, the bauxite is crushed, refined and converted to alumina, which is then conveyed to the smelting facility.

Construction of the refinery included installation of:

  • 225,000m3 of concrete
  • 42,000 tons of steel
  • 20,000 tons of tanks
  • 450,000 meters of piping
  • 40,000 tons to equipment
  • 4.1 million meters of cable

Smelter – Fluor provided PMC services for the aluminum smelter where commercial aluminum ingots, as well as slabs are produced and transported for processing through the rolling mill and/or automotive sheet facilities.

Aluminum Rolling Mill Project – Fluor completed Phases 2 and 3 of the front-end loading portion of the rolling mill project. EPCM was then awarded as a lump-sum contract to another firm with Fluor providing limited oversight. Fluor later added construction coordination and turnover resources to support startup and turnover to Ma’aden. Fluor and the contractor achieved over 40 million safe work hours.

Automotive Sheet Project – As a result of cost savings from other sub-projects, Ma’aden awarded FEL and EPCM for the 50 kta capacity automotive sheet facility to Fluor. The project was a late addition to the overall scope and was important to the development of automotive manufacturing capacity in the Kingdom. Fluor successfully completed the EPCM contract on the Automotive Sheet facility in 2015.

Fluor’s Operations & Maintenance (O&M) – Fluor’s O&M team worked with the owner’s team during FEED and mobilized to the site providing operational readiness technical services and pre-start-up deliverables. This portion of the project ended in December 2014.

The Integrated Aluminum Complex project and sub-projects were staffed during a peak time in the mining and metals business so Fluor called upon the company’s other business lines to support the various projects, truly a One Fluor integrated approach.

Total peak workforce on site was 36,000, covering 30 different nationalities, with a Saudization content of 23 percent.



Fluor’s participation in all of the projects within the Aluminum Complex provided an integrated solution for Ma’aden. Fluor provided the resources and showed the flexibility to change the execution strategies to meet the Ma’aden objectives. The savings realized from the revised execution strategies allowed Ma’aden to invest in the automotive sheet facility.

Fluor’s successful delivery of the integrated Ma’aden Aluminum Complex positively influenced Ma’aden’s decision to contract with Fluor for the EPCM of the company’s new phosphate plant in Umm Wu’al in northern Saudi Arabia.

The program worked a total of 29.5 million hours and achieved a Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR) of 0.08 and a DART-R rate of 0.01.