This month Aluminium International Today breaks with tradition and offers readers not one, but two EXCLUSIVE interviews with CEOs from major aluminium companies. We travelled to California to meet Jack Hockema, Kaiser Aluminum's CEO and we made a slightly shorter journey – into London, the UK capital – to discuss the global primary aluminium industry with UC Rusal's deputy CEO, Oleg Mukhamedshin.
What both men have in common is optimism. Jack explains how the aerospace industry's move to monolithic design has been extremely beneficial to the well-being of Kaiser Aluminum. Oleg says he is optimistic because the situation can't get any worse. The solution, he says is to adopt a rational approach to production.
Aerospace virtually kicks off the issue with Myra Pinkham's USA Update focusing on the emergence of carbon fibre composites, a discussion that continues in the Jack Hockema interview.
There's an interesting China Update from CRU's Ling Wong who discusses Xinjiang province in North Western China, widely touted as 'the new Henan' thanks to cheap power and zero tax incentives. And then, as a kind of precursor to our exclusive interview with Oleg Mukhamedshin, Eugene Gerden looks at how depressed aluminium prices have forced UC Rusal to revise its future development strategy.
Mahmood Daylami, the Gulf Aluminium Council's secretary-general, looks at how the Gulf region is developing its downstream industry while Sapa North America's Jeff Henderson argues that interesting opportunities for aluminium extruders exist in the automotive and construction industries.
SMS Meer discusses heavy duty rolling presses, Otto Junker looks at log and billet heating and Ametek says that aluminium recycling requires accurate testing equipment to determine the identity of different alloys.
We take a look at mining and refining with articles from consultants David Sugden on what it takes to make a bauxite mine; and Peter-Hans ter Weer on the economies of scale of alumina refining.
LOI Italimpianti's Hermann Meyer and BWG's Dr. Andreas Noé are the subjects of this month's Perspectives articles.
Happy new year to all readers of Aluminium International Today and welcome to our first issue of 2013, which is jam-packed, as usual, with a lot of interesting articles and interviews. We kick off the new year with an exclusive interview with Svein Richard Brandtzaeg, CEO of Norway-based global aluminium producer Norsk Hydro. Svein Richard is optimistic for the future of the aluminium and believes strongly in the light metal's 'climate-positive' credentials.
Sticking with Hydro, there's also an interesting article from the company that reinforces Svein Richard's green objectives for the business. Hydro is transporting more and more goods by sea in an effort to reduce costs and emissions. In Norway alone, the company hopes to reduce the number of trucks on the road by up to 5,000 per year.
In fact, there is a distinctly Norwegian flavour to this issue as Italo Dal Porto, senior engineer at Norway-based HMR Hydeq argues that metal tapping with vehicles increases overall efficiency and fewer risk zones.
The Gulf is one of the most important regions of the world for aluminium production and promises to remain so. Our editor, Matthew Moggridge, who was in Qatar late last year, reports on the Arab Aluminium (Arabal) conference and also writes about two leading Gulf producers, Dubal and Emal.
Marco Georgiou, editor of the CRU Group's Aluminium Long Term Outlook Report is also writing about the Gulf and claims that the region is one of the largest aluminium production hubs outside of China.
We have news updates from India and the USA, advice on how to eliminate 'butt swell' and the views of ECL, FATA Hunter and Claudius Peters in our Perspectives Q&A features. All in all, a perfect issue to start the new year.
Welcome to the last issue of the year, which features an exclusive interview with Dr. Martin Iffert, CEO of Germany's Trimet, the country's leading producer of primary aluminium. Dr. Ifferts says that the days of cheap energy are over and that soon there will be nowhere to hide. He believes that future survival will depend on a smelter's ability to adapt its production processes to renewable energy and the industry's determination to promote the environmental benefits of aluminium in the application phase.
There are some excellent technical articles in this issue including one by Stephan Broek, a director of Hatch Ltd's Environmental Engineering and Technology division. Broek writes about 'de-bottlenecking' a smelter ventilation system. Broek argues that there are many ways of 'debottlenecking' a smelter ventilation system, but all of them have a cost implication.
Solios Environnment write about centralised gas treatment centres. The company's Antoine de Gromard and Kevin Tarion argue that large GTCs offer smelters many benefits, including simplified maintenance and the reduction of emission points.
Gunter Kirchner of the Organisation of the European Aluminium Recycling Industry says that Europe exports over 1Mt of aluminium scrap annually, but might be shipping more if the EU End-of-Waste Criteria Regulation launched earlier this year works as expected.
Wisechem's general manager Alex Lowery says that good surface preparation saves lives (and money) and Vapormatt extols the virtues of wet blasting.
Hencon Group's Dirk Kuiken and Alu 1's Jan O Yttredal answer Aluminium International's difficult questions and, as usual, there's plenty of industry news to read.