Ma’aden to use steam from massive solar facility to produce alumina

(Image by MA’ADEN).

The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and GlassPoint entered into a memorandum of understanding to develop what they call “the world’s largest solar process heat plant” at Ma’aden’s alumina refinery.

According to the companies, once the 1,500-MW solar steam facility is completed, it will help Ma’aden reduce carbon emissions by over 600,000 tons annually. This represents more than a 50% reduction in the carbon footprint of the firm’s alumina refinery and a 4% drop in Ma’aden’s overall carbon footprint.

The proposed new facility, a solar thermal plant known as Ma’aden Solar 1, will be located in Ras al Khair, a town in Saudi’s Eastern Province. The goal is for it to harness the power of the sun to produce steam. The steam will be used to refine bauxite ore into alumina.

“Ma’aden is leading the way to reduce industrial carbon emissions at scale by replacing fossil fuels with solar power to create heat,” Rod MacGregor, CEO and founder of GlassPoint, said in a media statement. “This facility, when built, will be the largest industrial solar steam plant in the world and the first deployed in both Saudi Arabia and in the aluminum supply chain.”