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Case Study

Ma’aden Alcoa Mine & Refinery

Refinery from above

Through Advisian’s alumina know-how, combined with our project delivery expertise, Ma’aden was able to deliver on a project that was previously unable to achieve sanction.

The situation

The Ma’aden Aluminium Company was seeking to construct the first alumina refinery project in the Middle East. The project comprised a bauxite mine at Al Ba’itha and a 1.8 Mtpa alumina refinery at Ras Al Khair on the Saudi Arabian east coast. They initially required an independent technology provider with a proven track record to provide a world-class, modern and efficient design that was bankable, free from intellectual property concerns and backed by a refinery-wide performance guarantee. Subsequently Ma’aden sought EPCM delivery of the project.

Our approach

Advisian (previously WorleyParsons) was selected to provide the overall refinery process design, refinery performance guarantee, basic engineering and a bankable feasibility study for the mine and refinery project. Working collaboratively with Ma’aden-Alcoa representatives to deliver site-specific requirements, and effectively drawing on our extensive recent greenfield alumina design experience and collective in-house know-how, Advisian successfully assisted in taking the project though the sanction process. 

On the back of the successful delivery of the bankable feasibility study, Advisian (previously WorleyParsons, as part of the WPF JV) was selected as the EPCM project developer. The EPCM leadership team successfully transitioned the detailed engineering of the refinery process areas into its high-value engineering workshare centre in Beijing, China, where it was developed through to a detailed stage for handover to the construction contractors for completion. The Advisian project team played a key role in managing the construction contractors through completion of the works, and supported commissioning activities carried out by the owners.


Advisian's bauxite and alumina know-how, combined with our project delivery expertise, helped Ma’aden to finally deliver on its ground-breaking project, which had previously been unable to achieve sanction at the bankable stage following studies by others. The project is a significant cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to diversify its economy and provides Ma’aden with a low-operating cost refinery, producing high-quality alumina product.