- Title: Saudi Ma'aden seen ramping up phosphate output from Waad al-Shamal in 2017
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: RAS AL-KHAIR, SAUDI ARABIA (NOVEMBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF MA'ADEN FACILITY-REFINERY IN RAS AL-KHAIR, EASTERN COAST OF SAUDI ARABIA VARIOUS OF DIRECTOR OF PHOSPHATE OPERATION GRABBING A HANDFUL OF PHOSPHATE AND SPEAKING TO MEDIA DIRECTOR OF PHOSPHATE OPERATION SPEAKING TO MEDIA SIGN ON SHIRT READING (English and Arabic): "MA'ADEN PHOSPHATE COMPANY" DIRECTOR OF PHOSPHATE OPERATION SPEAKING TO MEDIA VARIOUS OF PHOSPHATE IN STORAGE MA'ADEN CEO AND MANAGERS SEATED DURING INTERVIEW WITH REUTERS REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO OF MA'ADEN ALUMINIUM, KHALID AL-MUDAIFER, SAYING: "Construction will be completed by the end of this year and the beginning of next year, so by the middle of next year all the plants will be starting to ramp up. It will be a slower ramp up of course like any of phosphate ramp up, so it will start at a percentage and it will take two to three years to reach capacity." REPORTER ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO OF MA'ADEN ALUMINIUM, KHALID AL-MUDAIFER, SAYING: "We have plans to grow ourselves. It will be subject to the market being ready to absorb the additional quantity." VIEW OF THE MA'ADEN ALUMINIUM SECTION AT PLANT VARIOUS OF HUGE ALUMINIUM BAR ROLLING ON CONVEYER BELT AND GOING THROUGH WATER WASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGINEERING AND RELIABILITY MANAGER AT MA'ADEN ALUMINIUM, ABDULAZIZ AL-RUWAILY, SAYING: "After we have extracted the ingot from the furnace at 508 degrees Celsius, we proceed it to the hot reversing melt rolling and multi passes. We can roll it up to maximum 19 passes and after that the thickness will be of 10 centimetres." INGOT PASSING THROUGH MACHINE VARIOUS OF FORKLIFT TRANSPORTING ALUMINIUM INGOTS READY FOR EXPORT TRUCK LOADED WITH INGOTS LEAVING FOR MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (English) MA'ADEN ALUMINIUM ENGINEER, MUSHARI DUWAYAN, SAYING: "So what we have over here is the ingot product, it's one of the pure aluminium products that we have. We have a capacity of 520,000 tons per year. Basically the pure aluminium can be used in the electrical cables and these kind of applications." MORE OF FORKLIFTS LOADING INGOTS READY FOR MARKET EXTERIOR OF MA'ADEN ALUMINIUM HEAD OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEO OF MA'ADEN ALUMINIUM, KHALID AL-MUDAIFER, SAYING: "We have the potential and we have designed our plant for additional lines, already taking, provisions are already there. We have the alumina, we have the rock, the energy, and the power. We need the markets." GIANT CHIMNEYS AT MA'ADEN FACILITY VIEW OF MA'ADEN FACILITY
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 19:57
- Keywords: Maaden Saudi Arabia mining phosphate Waad al-Shamal aluminum
- Location: RAS AL-KHAIR, SAUDI ARABIA
- City: RAS AL-KHAIR, SAUDI ARABIA
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00159T2P3H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) will ramp up production of phosphate from its new Waad al-Shamal facility by mid-2017, its chief executive said, as the kingdom seeks more cash from non-oil sources.
Once at full capacity in 2019, the complex will roughly double Saudi's production of the material, primarily used as a fertiliser, to 6 million tonnes a year - putting it joint-sixth globally, according to 2014 estimated production data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
"Construction will be completed by the end of this year and, starting next year, we will begin production ramp up on a staggered basis to reach full capacity," Khalid al-Mudaifer told Reuters on Wednesday (November 23) in an interview at the company's headquarters in Ras al-Khair, on the kingdom's Gulf coast.
The additional capacity will make Ma'aden the world's third largest phosphate producer, he said.
The mining sector offers one way to alleviate the damage that the slump in oil prices has done to government revenues.
"Wa'ad Al Shamal will have a major impact on the phosphate fertiliser market," said Chris Lawson, Senior Consultant, Head of Phosphate Analysis at CRU Group.
The company "will have their own phosphate rock source, ammonia source, and have cheap access to sulphur, the three key ingredients for phosphate fertilisers. This will make them the lowest cost producer in the world," he added.
Al-Mudaifer said full capacity would be reached by 2019.
While it will compete for business with Morocco and other producers, it is well-placed to supply India and East Africa and has "increased (its) share in markets such as Pakistan, Brazil and SE Asia," CRU's Lawson said. "They are also well placed to serve the small but growing East Africa fertiliser market."
Waad al-Shamal is part of an ambitious industrial scheme aimed at opening up Saudi's north to development that will boost job creation.
Saudi authorities estimate the region holds 500 million tonnes of phosphate ore, around 7 percent of global proven reserves, mainly in the Al Jalamid and Umm Wu'al areas between Arar and Turaif.
Mudaifer said these reserves, while high quality, were among the least exploited globally because of lack of infrastructure.
But now unconventional gas in the area is being harnessed for the first time, power comes from a plant built by Saudi Electricity Co, and a railway links Waad al-Shamal to Ras al-Khair.
Around 28 billion riyals has been invested on the project, under the umbrella of Wa'ad Al-Shamal Phosphate Company (MWSPC), a venture between Ma'aden, Mosaic and the Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC).
"We have plans to grow (but) it will be subject to the market being ready to absorb the additional quantity," Mudaifer said of the company's ambitions.
Ras al-Khair is already home to a Ma'aden phosphate venture with SABIC, Maaden Phosphate Company. Started in 2011, it produces 3 million tonnes of diammonia phosphate (DAP) annually.
Elsewhere in Ras al-Khair, Ma'aden has developed the kingdom's first aluminium scheme, with Alcoa.
Having previously imported alumina, a raw material for the metal, the plant will utilise only Saudi resources for the first time in 2016, according to officials at the facility.
Alumina production will reach its 1.8 million tonnes annual capacity in December this year and could increase to 2 million tonnes should there be market appetite.
"We have the potential and we designed our plant for additional lines," Mudaifer said.
"Provisions are already there, we have the alumina, the rock, the energy and the power, but we need the markets."
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