Alcoa has begun the construction of a $10.8bn integrated smelter and rolling mill complex in Saudi Arabia.

The project, owned by a joint-venture between Saudi Arabian miner Maaden and Alcoa, includes petrochemical and fertiliser plants, steel works, an industrial port and a number of support industries.

The second phase of the joint-venture will include a bauxite mine with an initial capacity of four million tons per year and an alumina refinery with an initial capacity of 1.8 million tons per year.

First production for the smelter and mill is scheduled for early 2013, and 2014 for the mine and refinery.

Maaden holds 74.9% of the joint venture, while Alcoa holds 25.1% with an option to increase its ownership up to 40%, reports Reuters.