Alcoa and Saudi Arabian Mining firm Ma’aden have commenced the construction of an alumina refinery at Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia, as part of their $10.8bn integrated aluminium JV.

The refinery will have an initial capacity of 1.8Mtpa.

According to Alcoa, the bauxite, which will be refined into alumina, will be transported from the Al Ba’aitha mine.

The firms have also started construction of a rolling mill in the same region, which will have an initial capacity of 380,000tpa.

The rolling mill is expected to start operations in 2013, while the refinery is expected to be operational in 2014.