The hydration heat of aluminate cement containing magnesium aluminate spinel (MA-spinel) and Commercial Lafarge cement are studied. The results show that five stages exist in the hydration processes of both cements, e.g. pre-induction, induction, acceleration, deceleration and stabilization stage. The N values of the two cements are both lower than 1 in acceleration stage, on the contary higher than 1 in stabilization stage. As a result, the hydration is mainly controlled by nucleation reaction and diffusion process in acceleration stage and stabilization stage respectively. The hydration heat of aluminate cement containing MA-spinel is lower than Lafarge cement. Accordingly, the hydration rate of aluminate cement containing MA-spinel is slower than that of Lafarge cement.