ASI certifies foil roller

ASI certifies foil roller

Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) today announced the third certification issued against its newly launched standards for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium.

ASI Certification of the Constantia Teich facility signifies that Constantia Flexibles’ practices meet the industry’s highest standards.

Constantia Teich is the largest company within the European flexible packaging industry and in 2017, their team of 960 people produced 1.1 billion square metres of aluminium foils and 67,000 tonnes of packaging foils.

Constantia Flexibles is a founding member of ASI.  

Fiona Solomon, Chief Executive Officer at ASI said “ASI warmly congratulates Constantia Teich on their important achievement of ASI Certification, still only 5 months after the launch of the ASI program. Aluminium packaging is a critical sector for aluminium use, directly touching billions of consumers every day. Every part of the supply chain has a role to play in rolling out ASI’s Standards, and it is a great pleasure to see Constantia Teich leading the aluminium foil rolling sector as the second company to attain ASI Certification.”

Thomas Greigeritsch, Vice President Group Sustainability at Constantia Flexibles, sees broad collaboration along the whole aluminium value chain as key to establishing a responsible sourcing scheme: “Our and ASI’s success depend on the support of all different players. This is essential to ensure the broad-based adoption and implementation for what we have developed. In 2010, we started with a handful of people drafting first ideas for the development of what has become the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative. Now, we are extremely happy having reached our first goal of being certified against the ASI Performance Standard. What’s more, we are striving to implement the Chain of Custody certification in the near future. I would like to give a big thank you to all people involved and for the excellent work of the whole ASI team."

For more information visit: www.aluminium-stewardship.org

Backlash on tariffs

Backlash on tariffs

The EU, Canada and Mexico have announced retaliatory tariffs in response to the 10% import tariff recently put in place by the White House.

In particular, the EU will impose tariffs on US imports ranging from Harley-Davidson motorbikes to jeans from next month in retaliation over Donald Trump’s decision to put duties on European aluminium and steel.

The EU has also taken a complaint to the WTO. Should the case still be ongoing after three years, the EU plans to impose further tariffs of €3.6bn on US products.

US Tariffs on allies

US Tariffs on allies

The USA has decided to go ahead with 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% on aluminium from its key allies – namely the European Union, Mexico and Canada. The news hasn't gone down well with the UK or the European Union.

According to reports, the 25% tax on steel and 10% tax on aluminium from the EU, Mexico and Canada will start at midnight.

On hearing the news, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a bad day for world trade, while the UK is said to be deeply disappointed. 

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister said it was unjustified and dangerous.

The Aluminum Association has just released a statement expressing its disappointment in the decision and arguing for a renewed focus on the real problem in the aluminium sector today -- persistent aluminium overcapacity in China caused by rampant and illegal government subsidies in that country.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ybpws6dg

Harsco acquires ALTEK

Harsco acquires ALTEK

ALTEK is pleased to announce that the Harsco Corporation (NYSE: HSC) has completed the acquisition of ALTEK Group, consisting of their UK operation ALTEK Europe Ltd., their US operation ALTEK LLC and Inductelec Ltd, their subsidiary Induction technology company.

The acquisition of ALTEK by Harsco is driven by a strategic move to grow their environmental solutions business and expand their capabilities in industrial waste management services. 

The cost-efficient recovery of metal and other value, and environmentally-safe solutions for
residual waste materials are increasingly important to the aluminum industry. ALTEK’s products, technologies and innovation address these and other operating challenges.  Their products include aluminium dross and scrap processing systems, innovative electromagnetic solutions for improving cast house efficiency, and its latest innovation (AluSalt™) offers customers a breakthrough technology to address one of the largest environmental concerns within the aluminum market, the treatment and/or disposal of salt slag.

Key attributes of the ALTEK acquisition include, market leadership, innovative technologies, strengthening of Harsco’s environmental brand, significant market opportunity, growth-driven management team and to leverage global footprint and relationships, with complementary solutions. 

Quote from Nick Grasberger, Harsco President and CEO

“ALTEK fits perfectly with our strategy of developing a premier environmental solutions platform, by acquiring technologies that expand our capabilities in managing industrial waste. We are extremely optimistic about ALTEK’s growth potential within Harsco Metals & Minerals and we welcome their team to Harsco. This acquisition also reflects our success in building a strong foundation in M&M and our confidence in the leadership team to execute against its operating and strategic growth priorities. ALTEK is M&M’s first acquisition in over a decade and it also represents an initial step to accelerate our growth.”

Quote from Alan Peel, Altek Managing Director

“This acquisition is a very positive step forward for ALTEK, providing the company with a strong financial owner who is committed to supporting ALTEK’s growth and innovation strategy. With Harsco’s extensive international presence and company infrastructure, Harsco will greatly enhance the ability of ALTEK to provide service and support to its international customer base. This will be particularly helpful as we commercialise our latest technology AluSalt™ around the world. With very similar and aligned values between the two companies, all of this will provide for a very exciting future for ALTEK with Harsco and the customers we serve within the aluminium industry.”

GFG Alliance wins bid

GFG Alliance wins bid

British group, Liberty Engineering, owned by industrialist Sanjeev Gupta has won its bid to secure the last remaining French manufacturer of aluminium wheels, AR Industries (ARI) and the hundreds of jobs that depend on it.

Today’s ruling by the court of administration in Orleans, in the French region of Centre-Val de Loire, means that Liberty – part of the GFG Alliance - can now put in place a comprehensive three-year recovery plan for the ARI site at Châteauroux including investments in advanced manufacturing equipment, improvements in safety and quality standards and growing its customer base.

The acquisition marks a further expansion of GFG’s presence in the global automotive sector and is the latest step in the group’s strategy to establish a major industrial presence in France. It follows the recent announcement that the UK group is also buying Aluminium Dunkerque, Europe’s largest aluminium smelter from Rio Tinto.

The Dunkerque installation is already a major supplier of raw material to ARI. The inclusion of both upstream and downstream operations in GFG’s French portfolio are part of the drive to establish France as a major operating hub for the group in Continental Europe.

The plan for the ARI plant, which will save around 350 jobs and hundreds more in the supply chain and regional economy, has been made possible by commitments, secured by GFG, from major French car manufacturers. This support will give the group the necessary time to implement its improvement plans for the business. The plant has capacity to make two million alloy wheels a year.

Speaking about the court ruling, GFG Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said:

“This is a very positive result not just for our business but first and foremost for the workforce at ARI. We’ve been very clear that France is one of the world’s great industrial economies and a key market for us. ARI is a perfect fit for our business and our investment strategy for France. We want to create the kind of sustainable, vertically integrated structure in France that we’ve successfully established in other markets – a structure based on adding value and safeguarding skilled jobs.”

Over recent years, GFG has established a strong track record of industrial turnarounds particularly in the automotive sector. Around one quarter of its 12,000-strong global workforce are engaged in automotive manufacturing and the firm is already a Tier 1 supplier to top vehicle makers including Nissan, Ford and JLR.

Chief Executive of Liberty Industries Group Douglas Dawson added:

“This is a great outcome and a very important acquisition for Liberty. It represents a key step in our growing and continuing plans to be a vertically integrated global, relevant and strategic Tier 1 supplier to the engineering and auto sectors.”

Liberty’s Head of Business Development in France and Europe Philippe Baudon, said:

“We are delighted with the court’s decision. Their ruling will allow us to retain over 90 percent of the jobs at the site and safeguard the plant’s role in the French automotive supply chain. It also means the valued expertise and know-how, developed by ARI’s workers can be retained and fostered – we want to see the plant taking its rightful place as a centre of excellence not only for the GFG Alliance but for the automotive sector in general.

“We’d like to thank all the interested parties who’ve been involved in the process, in particular the major customers and suppliers, ARI management, the worker representatives, and the French administration. Their positive and constructive approach has facilitated today’s successful outcome and we’re looking forward to working with them as we move forward with our plans.”

“We’d like to thank all the interested parties who’ve been involved in the process, including the staff and their representatives, the court administrators and French authorities and particularly the major customers whose strong support has been instrumental. The positive and constructive approach of all concerned has facilitated today’s successful outcome and we’re looking forward to working with them as we move forward with our plans.”

For more information visit: http://www.libertyhousegroup.com/news/gfg-alliance-wins-bid-for-french-wheel-maker-ar-industries/

Cast metal landmark

Cast metal landmark

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), has surpassed the 30 million tonnes mark in cast metal produced.

The aluminium EGA is producing is a key component in helping to make modern life possible through its use in construction, the automotive industry, electronics and other vital everyday essentials.

In 2017 EGA experienced a record production of 2.6 million tonnes of cast metal, exceeding 2016’s 2.5 million tonnes and made EGA the third largest producer of primary aluminium outside China. This has been a sustained increase which started at 135,000 tonnes per year when production began.

EGA has focused on innovation for over 25 years. EGA’s research and technology development focuses on continual improvements in aluminium production processes and EGA has used its own technology for core processes for every expansion since the 1990s.

On average, EGA spends $9.5 million on R&D each year and smelting innovations have enabled EGA to reach the top global quartile performance in cost, efficiency and environmental responsibility according to independent industry benchmarks.

Achieving this landmark figure in 2018 highlights the benefit of EGA completing a major retrofit of all older production lines with EGA-developed technology in 2017, helping to boost production capacity while also reducing unit costs.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at EGA: “EGA is one of the UAE’s most important industrial giants, and a world leader in the global aluminium sector. Reaching this figure confirms that fact and validates our commitment to innovation that has led to a sustained increase in cast metal production.

“The aluminium this organisation has produced for over a generation is helping to make a countless number of people’s modern lives possible. From the cars they drive to the buildings they live in, the 30 million tonnes of cast metal we have produced will have played a key role for people in the UAE and around the world whether they know it or not.”

Alliance Winners

Alliance Winners

Europe’s leading car manufacturers, including Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen and CRF – the Research Center of FCA, together with the rest of ALLIANCE have announced the winners of the Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge (LOIC), which aims to reduce vehicle energy consumption and carbon emissions through innovative and affordable solutions to reducing the weight of cars. 

The four winners: F.Tech from Japan/Germany - with a manufacturing technology for complex stamping of high strength steels -, Imperial College London from the UK - with a manufacturing technology for fast warm stamping of sheet metals -, Outokumpu from Germany - with a combination of stainless steel materials and their respective manufacturing technologies -, and Vestaro also from Germany - with an epoxy-based resin system - are already in touch with relevant manufacturers, suppliers and knowledge partners within ALLIANCE and working on their technologies, as chosen by ika-RWTH and Bax & Company. 

The technologies of the four winners will be evaluated and presented at the side event of the Aachen Body Engineering Days on September 20.

The challenge, which was also presented to delegates at the recent Future Aluminium Forum, received 22 applications from nine countries - a real success given the topic and scope. LOIC’s objective was to discover organisations working with innovative lightweight technologies and to further develop their solutions, by connecting them with large industrial players.

The selection criteria ensured a high quality of the selected applications. This included whether the proposed idea met the challenges arising from cutting transport CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030, and reducing the weight of vehicles by 25% while complying with strict cost targets.

Although only four winners were chosen, the partners have identified many more innovative solutions and are in contact with them to support their development in any way they can.

For more information visit: http://lightweight-alliance.eu

IAI New Chair

IAI New Chair

Gervais Jacques, Managing Director - Atlantic, at Rio Tinto Aluminium, has been appointed Chair of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), at the 93rd meeting of its Board of Directors in Hong Kong.

Jacques has over 25 years experience across all facets of Rio Tinto's aluminium operations. Prior to his current role, Jacques was Chief Commercial Officer - Rio Tinto Alcan, responsible for all the commercial and marketing activities worldwide for bauxite, alumina and aluminium. As IAI Chair he succeeds Hilde Merete Aasheim, Executive Vice President of Hydro's Aluminium Metal business, at the end of her two-year tenure.

"The role of the Institute, representing the interests of the global aluminium industry, is more important than ever," says Jacques. "I am grateful to my fellow Directors for the trust they have placed in me and thank Hilde for her leadership and commitment to the Institute over the last two years."

"We see growing demand for lightweight, strong, safe and energy efficient aluminium products across all market segments and, through the IAI, we will continue to promote sustainability and resource efficiency along the metal's value chain."

IAI Secretary General Ron Knapp also paid tribute to the leadership of Aasheim: "Hilde's leadership during her term of office and over a period of significant change in the aluminium sector has seen the Institute's work become much more relevant and focussed - it has been a pleasure to work with her and the Hydro team. We are pleased that she will continue to be actively involved in the Institute's work in the coming years as IAI Vice Chair - and we look forward to the next two years under the leadership of Gervais."

Alufoil Trophy 2018

Alufoil Trophy 2018

The Alufoil Trophy 2018 lived up to its reputation as one of the most highly valued awards competitions in the materials sector.

This year’s winning entries display excellence in aluminium foil across a wide range of applications including pharmaceutical, food and snack packaging and one which literally does make it much easier to shine LED lighting.

A panel of leading industry experts from all areas of the aluminium
foil industry announced ten winners across the five competition categories. 

“We were impressed by the great originality of many entries, which took existing products further or added a new dimension to the use of foil.
There was a highly inventive theme which showed a strong grasp of the technical possibilities of aluminium foil, while, at the same time, giving consideration for convenience and environmental impact,” explained the judges.
 
Each year the competition is organised by the European Aluminium Foil Association, EAFA and entries come from all parts of the aluminium foil sector including aluminium foil rollers and converters. 

Guido Aufdemkamp, the association’s executive director praised the standard of entries again this year. “Many of the winners for 2018 are truly groundbreaking, such as helping to simplify a complex electrical process, improve access to a key medical product, or creating stunning closure designs using crossover technology. We are constantly impressed by the way the aluminium foil sector can innovate and the Trophy is an important and effective way to recognise these achievements.” The competition is open to products which are either made from aluminium foil or contain aluminium foil as part of a laminate, structure or packaging system, as well as aluminium closures.

Categories cover every aspect of aluminium foil usage across many diverse markets. The classifications are Consumer Convenience; Marketing + Design; Product Protection; Resource Efficiency; and Technical Innovation.

Novelis breaks ground

Novelis breaks ground

Novelis Inc., yesterday hosted community members, federal, state and local officials to break ground on its $300 million automotive aluminium sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky.

Representatives from Novelis were joined by Senator Rand Paul, Congressman James Comer, Governor Matt Bevin and Senator Mitch McConnell’s staff to recognise the investment of a 400,000 square foot facility that will create approximately 125 jobs and produce annual nameplate capacity of 200,000 metric tons. Novelis will begin producing automotive aluminium at the site in 2020.

“The increased adoption of aluminium in cars, trucks and SUVs, coupled with more automotive manufacturing plants in the southeast makes Guthrie a strategic location to serve our customers,” said Steve Fisher, President and CEO, Novelis Inc. “With the strong, highly-skilled workforce in Kentucky, we believe our culture and commitment to building a sustainable world together will have a lasting and positive impact on this community.”

The significant positive impact of tax reform in the U.S. reinforces Novelis’ decision to expand at this time. A favourable economic environment has enabled Novelis to recently finalise key contracts totalling approximately $60 million for engineering plans, site preparation and state-of-the-art equipment for the greenfield facility. The facility will include heat treatment and pre-treatment lines, which prepare aluminium for use in vehicle parts such as body-in-white, hoods, doors, lift gates and fenders. 

Paul Banks, a 25-year veteran of the aluminium rolling industry, will oversee the project as Plant Manager, having previously served as Unit Manager at Logan Aluminum, a Novelis joint venture in nearby Russellville, Kentucky.

Novelis brings to Guthrie a proud 34-year history of supporting jobs in Kentucky and investing in local communities. The company employs 1,260 people in the state, accounting for more than $146 million in wages and benefits each year. In addition to Logan Aluminum, Novelis also operates an aluminium beverage can recycling plant in Berea, Kentucky.

“Kentucky’s workers are some of the best in the world – driven by ingenuity and determination,” said Senator Mitch McConnell. “I am proud that Novelis has chosen to reinvest in our people and our Commonwealth by breaking ground on this new facility. It’s a prime example of the good news we’re hearing from across Kentucky and the country since Congress passed historic tax reform last year. Today’s ground breaking exemplifies the remarkable promise ahead.” 

“I was thrilled to join Novelis as they expand operations and create new high skilled jobs in Kentucky. I look forward to continuing my efforts to promote pro-growth tax reform legislation and policies to help manufacturing companies like Novelis thrive and grow,” said Senator Rand Paul.

“I am fortunate to represent such hard-working men and women from the First District of Kentucky,” said Congressman James Comer. “Novelis' investment in this new plant demonstrates the value of Kentucky’s community of highly-skilled, advanced manufacturing workers. This is just one of many benefits of tax reform that we are seeing, and I look forward to continuing to work with industry leaders to grow the economy and create jobs. I thank Novelis for this great investment in our Kentucky workforce, and am eager to witness the benefits this facility will have on Guthrie and surrounding counties.”

“How fortunate for us to be part of this incredible global company. These are the kinds of investments that are transforming Kentucky and transforming the industry,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “My vision for this state is simple, and that is, that we will be the centre for engineering and manufacturing excellence in the United States of America. If we can go all the way down the supply chain, not just to fabricate materials but to roll those materials, to smelt those materials, to slit those materials – whatever the case might be – to get those materials to market; these are the kinds of things that are going to transform the state. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. Western Kentucky is primed for growth. I’m excited at this opportunity and I thank you for coming, truly, to each of you who’ve made this decision. We will not let you down.”

According to Ducker Worldwide, automakers are expected to increase the adoption of high-strength, lightweight aluminium in new cars and trucks over the next decade. This investment will grow Novelis’ leadership position as the first choice for automotive aluminium sheet and deliver consistent quality products to automakers as they turn to aluminium for the benefits they see in vehicle performance, safety as well as the ability to extend electric battery range.

For more information visit: www.novelis.com/guthrie

Bauxite & Alumina Head

Bauxite & Alumina Head

Hydro has appointed John Thuestad as new Executive Vice President for the business area Bauxite & Alumina effective June 1. 

Thuestad has more than 30 years of international experience from the metal and mining industry.

“I am pleased that John Thuestad has accepted the position as new head of Bauxite & Alumina. Brazil has been of major strategic importance for Hydro since the acquisition of Vale’s aluminum assets in 2011,” says Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

“Pará has a unique position in the global aluminium industry with activities across the entire aluminium value chain, from bauxite and alumina to finished products,” says Brandtzæg.

Thuestad is currently holding the position as head of Extrusion Europe in the business area Extruded Solutions and joined Hydro as part of the acquisition of Sapa in 2017.

“Thuestad has broad operational and leadership experience across the aluminium value chain. Combined with his experience across geographies and cultures and strong understanding of how to operate together with a range of internal and external stakeholders, I am confident he is a good fit and that he will complement the Bauxite & Alumina management team and organisation in a good way,” says Brandtzæg.

The alumina refinery Alunorte in Pará is currently running at 50 percent capacity, following Brazilian authorities’ orders late February to cut production of calcinated alumina by 50 percent.

“Internal and external reviews confirm that there was no overflow from the bauxite residue deposits and no contamination of local communities. We are currently working hard to restore full operations at the Alunorte refinery and have ongoing, constructive dialogues with Brazilian stakeholders,” says Brandtzæg.

Hydro plays an important role as an employer and is seeking to re-establish itself as a partner for the local communities of Pará, through initiatives to further contribute to sustainable growth, including technical, environmental and social measures.

“Priority number one for Thuestad as head of Bauxite & Alumina is to reposition Alunorte as the best alumina refinery in the world, from a safety, technical, environmental and social perspective. I have full confidence that he will do this, together with a strong Brazilian organisation, by cooperating closely with all relevant parties in the Pará society, unions and local communities,” says Brandtzæg.

Thuestad replaces interim head of Bauxite & Alumina, Eivind Kallevik, who will fully resume his position as CFO in Hydro June 1.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ya6rdt4a

Carbon-free smelting

Carbon-free smelting

Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corporation have announced a revolutionary process to make aluminium that produces oxygen and eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process.

Executives of Rio Tinto, Alcoa and Apple were joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier of Québec Philippe Couillard for the announcement, which signals the most significant innovation in the aluminium industry in more than a century.

To advance larger scale development and commercialisation of the new process, Alcoa and Rio Tinto are forming Elysis, a joint venture company to further develop the new process with a technology package planned for sale beginning in 2024.

Elysis, which will be headquartered in Montreal with a research facility in Quebec's Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, will develop and license the technology so it can be used to retrofit existing smelters or build new facilities.

When fully developed and implemented, it will eliminate direct greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process and strengthen the closely integrated Canada-United States aluminium and manufacturing industry. The new joint venture company will also sell proprietary anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.

Canada and Quebec are each investing $60 million (CAD) in Elysis. The provincial government of Quebec will have a 3.5 percent equity stake in the joint venture with the remaining ownership split evenly between Alcoa and Rio Tinto.

Apple is providing an investment of $13 million (CAD). The company helped facilitate the collaboration between Alcoa and Rio Tinto on the carbon-free smelting process, and Apple has agreed to provide technical support to the JV partners.

Rio Tinto and Alcoa will invest $55 million (CAD) cash over the next three years and contribute specific intellectual property and patents.

The patent-protected technology, developed by Alcoa, is currently producing metal at the Alcoa Technical Center, near Pittsburgh in the United States, where the process has been operating at different scales since 2009. The joint venture intends to invest up to $40 million (CAD) in the United States, which would include funding to support the supply chain for the proprietary anode and cathode materials.

Vincent Christ, an experienced leader with more than 30 years' experience at Rio Tinto Aluminium, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Elysis. Most recently, he has served as head of technology, research and development and automation programmes. He holds an engineering degree in electronics and industrial information technology.

For more information visit: http://www.riotinto.com/media/media-releases-237_25362.aspx

The future is now

The future is now

Aluminium industry gathers to discuss the impact of Industry 4.0 and smart technology solutions. 

The first edition of the Future Aluminium Forum took place in Milan, Italy on 8th & 9th May. 

Organised by Quartz Business Media, the event was held in association with Aluminium International Today and consisted of a two-day conference and table top exhibition.

More than 150 delegates from across the globe gathered to hear from technical experts and uncover the myths behind Industry 4.0 and what this means for the manufacturing value chain. 

Keynote
Stefan Koch, Global Lead Metals at SAP SE, presented the Keynote speech, which focused on automating knowledge and use cases for the aluminium industry to go digital. 

The message was clear from the beginning; digitalisation is not debatable and asset management in advanced manufacturing requires connectivity, collaboration and cross-industry data, information and knowledge sharing. 

Stefan emphasised to delegates that, “digital transformation is a marathon, even though it may start as a sprint.” The industry is already moving into an era of digitalisation, but key areas need to be addressed and these first steps must be taken together in order to stay ahead.

What is Industry 4.0?
The following sessions set about unravelling the origins of the concept and processes the industry can follow in order to successfully implement Industry 4.0 technologies. 

Data and what to do with it, was a huge talking point. Dan Miller, Senior Process Consultant at Innoval Technology Ltd made it clear in his presentation that you have to transform data into tangible information in order to get the most out of it. He discussed the need to improve and monitor key parameters in order to prevent disappointing ‘data mining’. 

Mark Breeden from HSO seconded the need for accurate data and announced that we are “set for a tsunami of great technology, which is heading our way,” in an engaging presentation. Mark presented ‘HoloLens’ and how it will enable the integration of augmented reality into the factory for manufacturers to use onsite. 

Next to take to the stage was Hans Erik Vatne, Chief Technology Officer at Norsk Hydro, who reassured delegates that Industry 4.0 does not necessarily mean “goodbye to knowledge”. In order to approach machine learning in aluminium extrusion, he explained that traditional domain competences must be combined with technology developments. 

These thoughts were shared by the following speakers. Hans Peintinger, General Manager, QuinLogic GmbH, presented the importance of correct tracking and data in order to form an educated decision. His presentation included the ‘quote of the morning’, which was: “Garbage in, gives garbage out,” meaning that data quality is essential.

Touching again on the need for knowledge, Roger Feist from Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH & Co KG., said that sometimes human knowledge is the only valid tool for managing risk. This was an interesting point and raised a number of questions on the balance between a human and digital workforce. He went on to introduce a data platform for industrial cloud applications as a way of optimising efficiency.

Smarter safety
By now, delegates had hopefully gained a better understanding of how the industry can begin to approach the looming digital era, but what challenges lie ahead and how can we protect our plants and workers? With data harnessing and management comes cyber security threats and with automation and robotics come new challenges for workers with regards to workplace safety; therefore the next session was designed to look at these areas.

Alexeis Garcia-Perez, a Reader in Cyber Security Management at the Centre of Business Society of Coventry University (UK) told delegates, “It is important to know the risks of manufacturing and the digital landscape so that you can understand and react to confidentiality, integrity and availability.” 

This sparked an interesting discussion, as cyber-security and prevention of data hacking will become more relevant as we begin to store and collect information more remotely.

The next presentation from Mary Connie from Coltraco Ultrasonics explained the importance of protecting your assets, with a particular focus on fire safety and a system developed using the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor-to-sensor technology. 

Mary revealed to the audience that instead of waiting for annual checks, owners and building managers can now identify any changes to their installed fire suppression system contents in real time and dispatch their servicing or maintenance team as soon as notification is received about a change happening to the installed system. This is now entirely possible through the reliance on recent IoT developments.

The smelter of the future
With smarter technologies already being applied in smelters and the opening of the Karmøy Technology Pilot, it was more than appropriate to dedicate a session to what the smelter of the future will look like and how autonomy can create a safe zone, as well as increase efficiency in aluminium manufacturing.

Claude Vanvoren, President of the AVTAL Association led the panel, which also saw the return of Hans Erik Vatne, alongside Geoff Matthews, Vice President Energia Potior and Maarten Meijer, President of GLAMA Maschinenbau GmbH.

Hans Erik presented the Karmøy Technology Pilot as an example of a smelter of the future and raised the question of whether we are heading towards more of a ‘micro-smelter’ approach in order to achieve maximum efficiency. 

Geoff Matthews supported the importance of a sustainability aspect in the smelter of the future and stressed the need for more renewable energy usage. He told delegates, “We are in the age of seeking a low emissions future.” 

While, Maarten Meijer brought the element of automation to the forefront and discussed how operators and robots can and should work hand-in-hand to create a more efficient aluminium smelter. 

Sustainable technologies
After a night of entertainment at a local restaurant and an open bar, thankfully all delegates were present and correct for the opening of the first session on Day Two. 

Jerome Lucaes, Marketing and Sustainability Director at UC Rusal took on the role of Chair and focused on how the latest technology is aiding the move towards a greener aluminium industry.

His presentation showed a new low-carbon aluminium market segment emerging and called upon the industry to pay more attention towards end of life recycling and not recycled content. 

David D’Aoust, Sales Manager for PyroGenesis Canada continued the green theme with a process designed for better recovery of aluminium waste and the need to eliminate landfill usage. 

Dr Melanie Williams rounded off the session and made an interesting point about how blockchain could play a role in sustainability certification and traceability. Melanie also told delegates: "As European Aluminium said in its comment on the Plastics Strategy, all packaging must be treated equally. However, industry cannot just rely on the EU and consumers, it must play its part as well."

Innovation Hub
European Aluminium played a pivotal role in the early stages of planning the Future Aluminium Forum. It was realised from the beginning that the Forum would provide the perfect platform to present the Innovation Hub, which is a proactive community of innovative companies from across Europe’s aluminium value chain. 
The goal is to trigger research projects that advance a sustainable future and tackle technological challenges, thereby advancing the industry’s Sustainability Roadmap to 2025.

The Innovation Hub Session saw Hans Erik Vatne, Serge Despinasse from Fives Aluminium Division, Claudio Pastrone from Instituto Superiore Mario Boella and Christian Leroy, Manager of the Innovation Hub at European Aluminium come together to discuss how digitalisation can boost innovation and sustainability in the aluminium sector, especially through collaborative public-private funded projects and a cross-sectoral approach.

The panel discussion pressed the point that collaboration is crucial for innovation in areas such as safety. Hans Erik Vatne told the audience that he does not believe humans will be replaced by automation, but automation can increase workplace safety and create more interesting jobs by eliminating repetitive tasks.  

Training is also the key to safety prevention and the panel agreed that in order to aid digitalisation, staff must be properly trained to fill the skills gap in certain domains. By going digital, it is hoped that the aluminium industry will also become more attractive to a younger workforce.  

What does the future look like?
The remaining sessions of Day 2 took a look at products and processes working to help streamline the supply chain and what the future of aluminium manufacturing will look like.

Claudio Goldbach, Business Development Manager at Termica demonstrated a system he had developed, which can allow the furnace to talk to you! 

Claudio became known as the ‘Dr Doolittle’ of the industry and his engaging presentation demonstrated digitalisation of heat treatment and was a great example of Industry 4.0 in action in an aluminium manufacturing plant. It was for this reason, that Claudio was announced as the winner of the Innovation Award at the close of the conference.

The Innovation Award is in collaboration with Aluminium International and recognises an innovative product or project from the Forum, deemed to make a difference to a process or optimise production. Congratulations to Claudio on being the first winner! 

Networking opportunities
As well as a providing a wealth of content and a stepping stone for the industry to work towards digital production, the Future Aluminium Forum also hosted a number of networking breaks and a delegate dinner.

The breaks were held alongside a dedicated table top exhibition, which saw companies such as ALTEK, QuinLogic GmbH, Innoval Technology Ltd, Achenbach Buschhütten, Ametek Land, Claudius Peters, GHI Hornos Industriales S.L, GLAMA Maschinenbau GmbH, Lintec Europe, PyroGenesis Canada and Thermo Fisher all present their products and processes.

Delegates were able to engage with exhibitors in an informal environment and view the technologies on display, which included Virtual Reality concepts and cloud based applications. 

A networking dinner was also held on the first night, which saw more than 100 delegates gather to enjoy the local Italian hospitality in relaxed surroundings. 

Closing remarks
One of the most important points to take away from this inaugural event is that the industry needs to work together in order to streamline efficiency and create an environment open to innovation. Companies and even competitors need to support each other, sharing ideas and practices in order to allow us to move seamlessly into a digital age.

The Forum highlighted that Industry 4.0 plays a role in research projects, applications, equipment, processes, efficiency and even the workforce.

Delegates learned how best to collect and store data, the importance of reliable data and its protection against security threats. 

It is clear that new technologies are being put in place to prevent risks, increase safety, reduce energy usage and improve the impact of aluminium manufacturing on the environment. However, this integration of new technologies will not happen overnight and delegates expressed their gratitude to the organisers that the Future Aluminium Forum helped to solidify relationships across the value chain and with solution providers; making the industry more prepared than ever to enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

For more information visit: www.futurealuminiumforum.com

EGA: Bauxite agreement

EGA: Bauxite agreement

Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today signed a 15 year agreement with LD Ports & Logistics, a subsidiary of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, for the transshipment of bauxite in the Republic of Guinea.

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and Abu Dhabi Ports separately signed an undertaking to form a joint venture company to work together to implement the project.
Transshipment is the process of moving cargo from one vessel to another at sea, and is used to transfer cargo when vessels are too big to berth in a port. Using larger ships reduces shipping costs on longer journeys.
EGA will be loading bauxite at the port of Kamsar in Guinea from both its own Guinea Alumina Corporation project, which will supply customers around the world, and from Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée for supply to EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery in Abu Dhabi.

Kamsar is located on the river Nunez some 17 kilometres from the open sea and is inaccessible for the world’s largest vessels.

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs is a global marine transport and services group.
EGA already works with Abu Dhabi Ports in Guinea. Abu Dhabi Ports manages a container terminal built by EGA at Kamsar port.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “EGA has set an ambitious growth agenda to expand upstream and internationally. Transshipment is an important link in the chain that will connect our alumina refinery and aluminium smelters in the UAE with bauxite mines in Guinea, and will also lower shipping costs from GAC to global bauxite markets.”

Mr Gildas Maire, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs said: “These agreements with EGA and Abu Dhabi Ports expand our geographic and operational footprint in West Africa. We are pleased to be partnering with these UAE leading companies, and to play a part in the development of Guinea’s economy by helping to enable the competitive transport of Guinean bauxite.”

EGA is currently developing the GAC project in Guinea, a bauxite mine and associated export facilities. First bauxite from the project is expected during the second half of 2019. The GAC project is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the past 40 years, and will be a new global source of bauxite supply. Bauxite is the ore from which aluminium is derived.

EGA is also building the UAE’s first alumina refinery at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi. First alumina is expected during the first half of 2019. Alumina, which is refined from bauxite, is the feedstock for aluminium smelters. Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to meet 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina needs once full ramp-up is achieved.

The transshipment system for GAC will consist of self-propelled barges that will shuttle from the GAC berth at Kamsar port to two  floating transfer stations. For bauxite destined for Al Taweelah alumina refinery, LD Ports & Logistics will use a gearless Panamax that will shuttle from the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée berth to a transshipper.

Bauxite for Al Taweelah alumina refinery will be unloaded at Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi. In December, EGA and Abu Dhabi Ports signed a long-term port facility agreement which enables Abu Dhabi Ports to develop Khalifa Port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels.

Abu Dhabi Ports will fund and complete dredging and widening works to the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin including EGA’s berth.

Alloy wheel MOU

Alloy wheel MOU

Saudi Arabia-based Abdul Latif Jameel has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese company Kosei Aluminium to explore the feasibility of a joint venture that would manufacture aluminium wheels and components in the kingdom.

During a visit by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in March 2017, Saudi Arabia and Japan agreed to deepen existing bilateral relations between the two countries and establish a solid strategic partnership, as part of the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030, said a statement.

This agreement, signed in Tokyo, Japan, will now see both companies study the potential of utilising Saudi Arabia’s rich aluminium deposits and competitive energy costs through a joint venture.

This would contribute to the development of the manufacturing industry in Saudi Arabia – a key priority of Saudi Vision 2030.

For more information visit: http://www.tradearabia.com/news/IND_339658.html

Casting pit upgrade

Casting pit upgrade

AluMore in conjunction with their partner company, Dynamic Concept successfully completed an upgrade to the casting pit at Sierra Aluminum in Riverside, California.

Following 3‐D laser inspection of the casting pit, a new guide rail system was installed along with a new casting platen and cylinder mounting system.

The project, intended to improve the straightness of the cast product was successfully executed with the collaboration  between  Dynamic  Concept  Engineers  and  the  Foundry  Maintenance  team  at  Sierra  and  restarting of production was achieved three days ahead of schedule.

Guthrie Appointment

Guthrie Appointment

Novelis has announced that Paul Banks will be Plant Manager of its new $300 million automotive sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky.

Banks has more than 25 years of experience in the aluminium rolling industry, including previous managerial positions with Novelis and its joint ventures.
 
A long-time aluminium industry expert and Kentucky native, Banks will be responsible for overseeing the development and construction of the recently-announced project, as well as hiring 125 new employees to help operate the facility.

Iran smelter 2019

Iran smelter 2019

According to reports, Iran is on track to launch an aluminium smelter in 2019 and be self-sufficient.

The new smelter will boost the country's output by 70%.

Construction is underway of the South Aluminium Corp (Salco) smelter, due to produce 300,000 tonnes per year in its first phase, Mehdi Karbasian, deputy minister of industry, mining and trade, told the CRU Aluminium conference in London on Tuesday.

While Iran currently produces slightly over 400,000 tonnes per year of aluminum at two plants, consumption is around 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes, said Amir Mirchi, managing director of Canadian consultancy Auryce, which is advising Salco.

Line 6 update

Line 6 update

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba) kicked-off the 2nd quarter of 2018 with the safe delivery of two of six rectifier transformer units to Line 6 Expansion Project Site.
 
The world’s largest rectifier transformer (rectiformer) rated at 120 kA at 1880V DC, is designed and built by Fuji Electric, Japan. The equipment for the third and fourth rectiformers have been shipped from Japan and are scheduled to arrive on-site by mid-May 2018 while the final shipment of the remaining units is expected to reach Alba by July 2018.
 
Commenting on this milestone, the Chairman of Alba’s Board of Directors, Shaikh Daij Bin Salman Bin Daij Al Khalifa said:
“Line 6 Expansion Project is brimming with all kinds of activities – the construction of Line 6 Smelter, Power Station 5 and Power Distribution System (PDS) is taking place in chorus and structures have started to take shapes.
By progressing to an adapted schedule, Line 6 Smelter and Power Expansion Project will be soon transformed into a bursting reality.”
 
As of March 31, 2018, Line 6 Smelter’s Overall Progress exceeded 49% (Engineering progressed more than 83% while Contracts and Procurement advanced by more than 92%); Power Station 5 & Power Distribution System Overall Progress exceeded 58% and 82% respectively.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ybzxsdtw

Rio Tinto review

Rio Tinto review

Following the announcement by the United States Treasury Department on 6 April, 2018, that it was implementing sanctions on various Russian individuals and companies, Rio Tinto has reviewed arrangements it has with impacted entities.

The arrangements include Rusal’s 20 per cent interest in Queensland Alumina Limited in Australia, including Rusal’s associated supply and offtake arrangements, bauxite sales to Rusal’s refinery in Ireland and offtake contracts for alumina that are used at Rio Tinto’s smelters, mainly in France and Iceland.

As a result of the imposition of these sanctions, Rio Tinto is in the process of declaring force majeure on certain contracts and is working with its customers to minimise any disruption in supplies.

Rio Tinto is fully committed to complying with the US sanctions.

For more information visit: http://www.riotinto.com/media/media-releases-237_25206.aspx

AEC appointment

AEC appointment

R. Scott Kelley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Service Center Metals in Prince George, VA, was elected to serve as Chairman of the Aluminum Extruders Council. 

Mr Kelley has been a member of the AEC Board of Directors since 2013 when he served as an Independent Extruder Director until he was elected to the Executive Committee in 2016 as Vice Chairman of the Council.

Mr Kelley has more than 32 years of sales and operations experience in the aluminium industry. Prior to founding Service Center Metals in 2001, Mr. Kelley served as National Sales Manager for Kaiser Aluminum, in charge of distribution marketing and sales activities and as National Distribution Market Manager for Reynolds Metals Company, responsible for marketing, sales and strategic planning.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y84pr7hb

Aludium releases 55AT™

Aludium releases 55AT™

The alloy was developed by the company’s inhouse Cindal R&D centre as a high quality and cost-effective alternative to the industry standard 5505. The new alloy offers clear cost and productivity advantages for solid, metal trim parts.

55AT™ has been developed by Aludium for exterior automotive trim applications which require the highest quality bright finish. These include window frames, roof rails, sunroof trim, roof racks, B- and C-pillar decoration, and other exterior decorative parts of premium vehicles.

Higher yield enhances cost-effectiveness

For exterior trim application, 55AT™ is cost-effective both in terms of its initial cost and yield. It has a level of cleanliness not found in any comparable alloy thanks to the advanced filtration system Aludium uses during casting. This guarantees consistently perfect anodising and brightening results. With 55AT™, there is no need for labour-intensive mechanical polishing and high productivity guaranteed.

Full offer for automotive trim applications

55AT™ is a part of Aludium’s family of automotive trim products which also includes:

Decorandum®, the light weight alternative to stainless steel 
Texturandum®, tailor-made patterns for decorative applications 
The high purity alloy 5505 for premium vehicles 
Interior trim alloys 8014 and 5657. 

55AT™ from Aludium ensures OEMs have a high-quality surface which will bring the premium feeling of aluminium to their exterior trim applications, and at an affordable cost.

For OEMs who want to produce deluxe parts, Aludium offers a high quality 5505 alloy which guarantees the best formability and highest gloss values. 5505 can be used to achieve the most fluid shapes and highest shine the designers of modern cars can imagine.

For more information visit: www.aludium.com/55AT

Alu recycling rate

Alu recycling rate

As aluminium drinks cans hit 72% recycling rate, data shows that almost 100% is recycled within Europe.

Whilst we are consumed by the issues of packaging pollution and concerns about where our recycling ends up, there is some good news. 

The recycling rate for aluminium drinks cans continues to increase year on year, hitting 72% in 2017 (up from 70% in 2016), whilst the national recycling rate for all aluminium packaging reached 51% (up from 50% in 2016).
According to packaging waste recovery data, recently released by the Environment Agency, aluminium packaging easily achieved its 2017 business target. 

There was a 4% increase in the number of PRNS raised in 2017 (24,092 tonnes) vs 2016 (90,095 tonnes). Ultimately, the PRN numbers show that over 8,000 tonnes of aluminium PRNs were raised but not issued. As in previous years, there is evidence that some reprocessors/exporters chose not to become accredited or decided not to raise the maximum number of PRNs that they could have done, due to the resulting low PRN prices.

This underlines Alupro’s support for reforms to the PRN system; our priorities are to ensure the system accurately records all the aluminium packaging collected for recycling, that consumer focussed behaviour change programmes are properly funded and that “real recycling” is recognised and rewarded.

Data also shows that 92% of the aluminium packaging collected for recycling in the UK, is recycled within Europe; this demonstrates that there is more than sufficient capacity within the EU to recycle the aluminium packaging recovered for recycling in the UK. 

Commenting on the recycling rates, Alupro’s Executive Director Rick Hindley said “It is fantastic to see aluminium packaging recycling rates continuing to increase year on year. We must continue to increase awareness and understanding of what happens to used aluminium packaging when it is recycled. Given widespread concerns regarding where our kerbside recycling ends up, and whether it is actually recycled, we believe the 92% is statistic will give people the confidence that when they recycle aluminium packaging, it really is recycled – and close to home.

“Aluminium packaging has an intrinsic value. The issue is encouraging consumers to recognise aluminium packaging as an extremely cost-effective material to recycle, through education and effective communications. In the UK, developing and stimulating the existing kerbside collection infrastructure is a great starting point, but consistency is essential – the public remains confused by the differing rules across local authorities.  We must help them to do the right thing and recycle.”

Alupro manages several programmes funded by metal packaging manufacturers, reprocessors and leading brands, which the industry believes are making a vital contribution towards encouraging consumers to recycle more. 

MetalMatters focuses on improving metal capture rates in local authority recycling schemes; whilst Every Can Counts supports organisations wanting to enable people to recycle the beverage cans used outside the home.

For more information visit: www.alupro.org.uk

First ASI certification

First ASI certification

An alumina refinery, five aluminium smelters and associated casting, recycling, waste management and infrastructure facilities in Canada, owned and operated by Rio Tinto, are the first operations to be certified against ASI’s ground-breaking Performance Standard for environmental, social and governance performance.

In addition, Rio Tinto’s bauxite mine in Gove, Australia, is the first mine to receive ASI Performance Standard certification and the second ASI Certification issued. 

Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) announced the world’s first certifications against its newly launched standards for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium. ASI Certification of the Rio Tinto facilities located in the province of Québec, Canada and the Northern Territory, Australia, signifies that the practices at these sites meet the industry’s highest standards. In 2017, the smelters produced a combined 1.1 million tonnes of aluminium, around a third of Canada’s production, and the bauxite mine in Gove produced some 11 million tonnes of bauxite.
 
The ASI Certification program was developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process and is the only comprehensive voluntary sustainability standard initiative for the aluminium value chain. Rio Tinto is a founding member of ASI and is the first company in the world to achieve ASI Certification. The independent, third-party audits were carried out by BNQ (Bureau de Normalisation du Québec), which was the first ASI Accredited Auditing Firm.  
 
Fiona Solomon, Chief Executive Officer at ASI said “ASI is delighted to be recognising these historic first ASI certifications achieved by Rio Tinto. They demonstrate that ASI’s program has successfully transitioned to implementation. The ultimate value of ASI lies in broad uptake throughout the aluminium value chain, and we are poised to increase momentum in both membership growth and certifications during 2018.  
 
“We congratulate Rio Tinto and BNQ for their enthusiasm, diligence and commitment during the Standards’ development phase, as well as their willingness to be a trailblazer as the first member to navigate the process.”
 
Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said “Rio Tinto is proud to take this pioneering step as a global leader in responsible aluminium production.
 
“Aluminium has a key role to play in driving human progress, as a material of choice to reduce carbon and increase recycling across a wide range of end products from food packaging to buildings, planes, cars, mobile phones and computers.

“We expect leadership in responsible production will become increasingly important for our customers and the consumers who buy their products.”
 
Daniel Weston, Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Nespresso and Chair of the Board of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, said “The development of the ASI has taken many years of commitment and hard work by many parties, and these first certifications are an important milestone, pioneering the adoption of these new standards and leading the way for the entire industry.”

For more information visit: https://aluminium-stewardship.org

Join the ‘Recycle Race’

Join the ‘Recycle Race’

The cross-European drinks can recycling awareness programme Every Can Counts is inviting cycling fans to join in the ‘Recycle Race’ activity and make Every Can Count whilst cheering on elite cyclists from Trek-Drops team at the next major cycling race: the Amstel Gold Race on 13 April in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.

Last Sunday the Every Can Counts team welcomed and engaged with hundreds of visitors at its booth located right after the finish line of the Tour of Flanders in Oudenaarde, Belgium. Spectators could combine their cycling and recycling skills in ‘The Recycle Race’, an interactive game using pedal power to move drinks cans around a recycling loop track. Participants can race against family and friends, with the opportunity to win prizes including classy Every Can Counts/Trek-Drops caps, Trek-Drops official cycling jerseys signed by the team and a seat in the team car during the Liège-Bastogne-Liège race foreseen on 22 April!

The game promotes the message that the drinks can you recycle today could be recycled into a new can or even a new racing bike - and that metals such as aluminium and steel are endlessly recyclable.

Every Can Counts is a lead sponsor of the elite female cycling team, Trek-Drops Cycling. The aim of the partnership is to deliver the recycling message to a new audience and to encourage people to recycle drinks cans when they are ‘on the go’ outside the home.

Initiated by metal and can manufacturers, the programme was launched in the UK in 2009 and is now active in 12 European countries. Whether it is made of aluminium or steel, the beverage can is infinitely recyclable and its physical properties remain unchanged no matter how many times it is recycled. 

Today more than 7 cans out of 10 are recycled in Europe and this number is steadily increasing every year thanks to behaviour change campaigns like Every Can Counts which encourage European citizens to recycle their beverage cans wherever they are.

For more information visit: www.everycancounts.eu

Extrusion acquisition

Extrusion acquisition

Norsk Hydro’s acquisition of Arconic’s two extrusion plants in Brazil has been completed, strengthening Hydro’s downstream position in Brazil and creating a solid platform for further growth.

The two extrusion plants in Utinga and Tubarão in southern Brazil have more than 600 employees in total, one casthouse, seven extrusion presses ranging from 7 to 14 inches, and value-added capabilities.

The transaction is in line with Hydro’s strategy of selected growth within its business area Extruded Solutions, and will strengthen Hydro’s downstream position in Brazil.

“We believe in the importance of being close to our customers to offer high-quality customised extrusions and local support. With the acquisition of Utinga and Tubarão, Hydro will become the market leader in the Brazilian extrusion market,” says Executive Vice President and Head of Extruded Solutions, former Sapa, Egil Hogna.

Under the terms of the agreement, the price includes a cash payment from Hydro of USD 10 million, subject to working capital and other adjustments.

Hydro’s extruded solutions division in South America will continue to be headed by Haroldo Chieza, with an extended management team including the Utinga and Tubarão plant managers. Extruded Solutions in South America is part of the business unit Precision Tubing, headed by Senior Vice President and Head of Precision Tubing Sergio Vendrasco.

For more information visit: https://www.hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2018/hydros-acquisition-of-arconics-extrusion-plants-in-brazil-completed/

Alumina refinery update

Alumina refinery update

Emirates Global Aluminium, has passed 20 million hours work on its Al Taweelah alumina refinery construction project without a single Lost Time Injury.

This is the equivalent of one person working in construction for more than 7,000 years without an accident that leads to time off work.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery, located next to EGA’s Al Taweelah aluminium smelter in Abu Dhabi, is one of the largest industrial construction sites in the UAE, with more than 11,000 people working on site. The alumina refinery is the first to be built in the UAE. Alumina is the feedstock for aluminium smelters.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “Safety is the first priority of everyone at EGA, regardless of their position in the organisation. This safety record is the result of intense effort throughout the alumina refinery project team, and I commend them. We must maintain this focus on safety until construction is complete, and continue it throughout the decades of Al Taweelah alumina refinery’s operation.”

At the core of Al Taweelah alumina refinery’s safety programme are more than 280 safety professionals, managing systems and processes to keep workers safe.

People working on the project have received nearly 100,000 hours of specialist safety training so far, with nine different courses for each individual to complete.

An important focus has been tackling language barriers on a site where the cosmopolitan workforce speaks 44 different languages. Training is conducted in multiple languages, and risk assessments and other key safety documents are largely pictorial rather than using words.

Each team starts every shift with a toolbox talk highlighting safety requirements. Over 230,000 toolbox talks have taken place on the project to date.

Workers are encouraged to report anything they perceive could be a safety hazard so it can be investigated and action taken to prevent any incident happening. So far over 36,000 reports have been made and action taken.

The project safety team selects high-performing individuals to act as trained work observers, praising good safety performance and correcting any risky behaviours. Data from these observations, over 95,000 to date, is collated to share improvement opportunities with the entire workforce.

EGA also rewards workers financially for choosing safe behaviours at work, with the rewards increasing in value as more are earned.

First alumina from Al Taweelah alumina refinery, which has a total budgeted project cost of approximately $3.3 billion, is expected during the first half of 2019.

Once full ramp up is achieved, Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to produce 2 million tonnes of alumina per year, meeting 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina requirements and helping to secure the competitive supply of the feedstock for aluminium smelters.

ALFED opinion

ALFED opinion

The Aluminium Federation, which represents the UK’s aluminium sector, has welcomed the announcement that the European Union and six other countries will be exempt from steel and aluminium tariffs recently announced by President Trump.

“The exemption of the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea from these measures, which come into effect today, is good news”, said Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead. “However, this exemption is only temporary, and European markets are still vulnerable to flows of diverted aluminium product from producing countries that remain affected by the tariffs. This situation can only generate uncertainty in our industry.”
“Tariffs in general are a blunt instrument, and the indirect consequences of any resulting trade war could be far more serious for UK manufacturing than the original measures.

"We will continue to work with BEIS and the EU on a multilateral solution to the root cause of this issue, which is the problem of global overcapacity, particularly in China, whose output grew by 13% in 2017, and which already produces more than half the world’s primary aluminium."

Mechatherm signs contract

Mechatherm signs contract

According to reports, Mechatherm International has created 20 jobs after securing a £25 million order from Bahrain, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The new contract is to supply and maintain a series of furnaces with one of the largest aluminium producers in the Middle East.

It also intends to open its first office in Dubai later in 2018 to bolster its presence in the Middle East.

Aluminium foil update

Aluminium foil update

Strong demand from overseas aluminium foil markets in the final quarter of 2017 saw aluminium foil deliveries from European foil rollers reach a new record tonnage for the full year, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). 

Overall deliveries for the full twelve-month period were at 886,300t (2016: 874,900t), even higher than pre-crisis levels for the second year running. Thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils added 1.8% year on year, while thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, slightly increased by 0.3 percent.  Total domestic deliveries were ahead by 0.6% in the period, while exports improved strongly, by 5.7 percent.

The final three months of 2017 saw deliveries to non-European markets increase by 37.2%, with domestic deliveries going down by 2.2 percent. After a buoyant 2016, demand for thicker gauges has climbed by 1.0%, whereas deliveries of thinner gauges have gone up by 2.8%. At 214,800t in total, Q4 deliveries were 2.2% ahead.

Bruno Rea, EAFA President and Roller Group Chairman, commenting on the figures said, “These results indicate a satisfying full year 2017. High demand seems set to continue, both at home and abroad, meaning our members carefully forecast a positive outlook for 2018.”

“We are seeing an improvement in domestic markets, as well as some local structural supply issues in key overseas markets. These offer good opportunities for increasing output and sales from European suppliers,” he added.

For more information visit: http://www.alufoil.org/media/press-releases.html

Hydro: Alunorte review

Hydro: Alunorte review

Hydro expands the scope of the ongoing independent review of Alunorte by Brazilian environmental consultancy SGW Services to include all interfaces with areas adjacent to the refinery operation.

Hydro’s Internal Audit will conduct a full review of all licenses, complementing SGW’s review of Alunorte’s permits and relevant legislation.

The decision to expand the scope of SGW’s mandate and to launch an internal audit follows an infraction notice from Pará State Environment and Sustainability Secretary - SEMAS on 15 March.

The notice relates to an unlicensed connection between the Alunorte refinery and a licensed drainage canal from the adjacent Albras aluminium plant, leading to discharge of untreated rainwater from the roof of the coal storage shed at Alunorte into the Pará River through this internal canal. Subsequently, Hydro discovered an additional inflow of water to the canal from the former hydrate storage area.

“We have discharged untreated rain and surface water into the Pará River. This is completely unacceptable and in breach with what Hydro stands for. On behalf of the company, I personally apologize to the communities, authorities and the society. This underlines the importance of the thorough review of Alunorte, including interfaces with adjacent operations to verify compliance with licenses. We need the full picture so we can put in place necessary actions,” says Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

According to the license, all rain and surface water from Alunorte refinery area should have been led to the water treatment system. Tests by SEMAS showed that water instead flowed into the canal stemming from Albras. These discharges are independent of the extreme rainfall experienced in February.

Following an internal review, there is also indication that surface water from the former hydrate storage area could have been led into the Albras canal.

The inlet from the coal storage shed has now been sealed. Hydro is working on finding the best solution to close the inlet from the former hydrate area.

As earlier communicated, the findings of the internal review and first phase of the external review will be presented on April 9, together with further necessary measures.

Hydro is South America’s biggest aluminium company after acquiring Brazilian mining company Vale’s aluminium assets in the state of Pará in 2011. Alunorte is the world’s largest alumina refinery, employs around 2,000 people and has a nameplate capacity of an annual 6.3 million tonnes. Hydro owns 92.1 percent of Alunorte.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7twdld4

New MD at Aumund

New MD at Aumund

On 1st March 2018 Reiner Furthmann took on the position of Managing Director Technology at AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH in Rheinberg, Germany. 

His main responsibilities are Research & Development, Design & Engineering, Quality Assurance, Production, Materials Management / Purchasing. Reiner Furthmann has been developing his career with AUMUND since joining in 1984, and he has progressed into this role from the position of Technical Director.   

For more information visit: www.aumund.com

ARABAL 2018 announced

ARABAL 2018 announced

Kuwait Industries Co. Holding are the proud host of the 22nd ARABAL in its 35th year.

Since it’s inauguration in Kuwait in 1983, ARABAL has become an event of international repute, bringing together industry leaders from around the world to discuss current issues in the aluminium sector whilst also exploring investment opportunities in the region.

The event takes place on 11th - 13th November, 2018 in Kuwait City and will comprise a strategic conference focusing on the current industry prospects and challenges, an international exhibition, workshops and networking events.

For more information visit: https://www.arabal.com

Fata SpA update

Fata SpA update

After 38 successful years in the ferrous and non-ferrous industries, Mr. Anthony Tropeano has decided to retire and resigned as CEO of FATA SpA in January 2018.

Mr. Tropeano joined FATA in 1994, and since then he held a number of executive positions within the company. For many years he successfully led FATA’s  two operating divisions, FATA Hunter (world leader in engineering and equipment manufacturing for the  aluminium flat rolled product industries) and FATA EPC (supplier of complete plants on a LSTK-EPC basis), as Chief Executive Officer. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of FATA S.p.A. in 2016.

Thanks to his extensive global experience and his inspiring leadership in business development and in establishing relationships, he introduced the company to new markets and diversified sectors with great success.

Prior to joining FATA, Mr. Tropeano was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Italimpianti of America, Inc. – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Tropeano was educated at the Jersey City State College and at the Farleigh Dickinson University where he received his MBA.

During his career he has belonged to various associations including TMS, ECCA, AISE, NCCA and he was on the Board of Directors and one of the funding members of EU Metallurgy, an Association located in Brussels.

In February 2018 Mr. Tropeano set up his own company, TT Consulting Inc., providing management consulting services for metals, mining and contracting sectors.

Shipping MOU

Shipping MOU

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi Ports, to work together to develop opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports to upgrade ports, logistics infrastructure and services abroad used by EGA to load raw materials destined for the UAE.

The agreement could lead to new international business opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports, enable more efficient shipping for EGA, and spur economic growth around the ports by creating opportunities for other trade.

The agreement was signed at EGA’s headquarters at Al Taweelah in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports, and Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA.

Captain Al Shamisi said: “What we want to create are win-win-win opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports, EGA, and port operators and their communities around the world. Abu Dhabi Ports’ expertise in developing ports and interest in investing internationally, combined with EGA’s demand to use port facilities, should make upgrade projects economically attractive to the benefit of everybody. We greatly anticipate the potential chance to showcase our capabilities in foreign ports and to expand our presence overseas.”

Abdulla Kalban said: “EGA already works with Abu Dhabi Ports at Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi and at Kamsar in the Republic of Guinea. This MoU paves the way for further opportunities through which Abu Dhabi Ports can develop its international business, whilst lowering EGA’s shipping costs through the upgrading of the ports that we use. Securing raw materials at competitive prices depends not just on good relationships with suppliers but also on ease of shipping, so we look forward to developing these opportunities for Abu Dhabi Ports to invest to the benefit of both our businesses and the local economies around these ports.”

In December EGA signed a long-term port facility agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to import bauxite for EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery at Khalifa Port using the world’s largest bulk cargo ships, known as Capesize vessels.  

The agreement, and the security of demand it creates, is enabling Abu Dhabi Ports to invest to develop the port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling these massive ships, reducing EGA’s shipping costs and opening opportunities for other trade. The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5 metres and basin to 18.0 metres basis zero tide. EGA plans to use large dry bulk ships to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y9b4tlpk

Hydro: Alunorte review

Hydro: Alunorte review

Hydro’s CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg has appointed CFO Eivind Kallevik as interim head of Bauxite & Alumina with immediate effect, replacing Silvio Porto, in response to the challenging situation at the Alunorte alumina refinery that is currently operating at 50 percent capacity. 

Kallevik will at the same time remain in his position as CFO.

Brandtzæg will further commission an independent review of Alunorte by an internationally renowned environmental consultancy, and announced measures to assist local communities in Barcarena, and established a project to review and consider further strengthening the robustness of the water treatment at Alunorte, to be led by former head of Bauxite & Alumina Silvio Porto.

“The challenging situation at Alunorte requires a dedicated focus and organization beyond operational competence and capabilities,” says CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg. “I am grateful that Kallevik is prepared to take on this significant responsibility, and that Silvio Porto will lead the important project launched to further strengthen the environmental robustness of Alunorte.”

Eivind Kallevik held the position as Head of Finance for Bauxite & Alumina in Brazil for two years before taking up the position as CFO in 2013, as well as leading the business area in an interim period in 2016.

Following a period of extraordinary rainfall, federal, state and local authorities in Brazil have ordered a series of measures over concerns that the rain had led to spills from Alunorte into the nearby Para river and caused contamination. These measures include reducing production by 50 percent at Alunorte and halting operations at its bauxite residue disposal DRS2.

The independent review by the internationally renowned environmental consultancy is expected to announce its conclusions and action plans during the first week of April. The review comes in addition to an already established expert task force leading a comprehensive study of Alunorte, reporting directly to the CEO.

Hydro collaborates with local institutions on humanitarian relief to assist communities in Barcarena within health and water. For neighboring communities Vila Nova, Burajuba and Bom Futuro, Hydro commits to working with local partners and investing in proper water supply. Hydro further commits to work with community, civil society and government to clarify the sources of water pollution and other water-related issues in the Barcarena region.

Hydro will also to review and consider further strengthening of Alunorte’s water treatment system as a proactive response to possible future climate and weather changes. This project will be led by Silvio Porto, reporting to Kallevik.

Hydro is South America’s biggest aluminium company after acquiring Brazilian mining company Vale’s aluminium assets in the state of Pará in 2011. Alunorte is the world’s largest alumina refinery, employs around 2,000 people and has a nameplate capacity of an annual 6.3 million tonnes. Hydro owns 92.1 percent of Alunorte.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/yanasbmf

US aluminium tariffs

US aluminium tariffs

The US has said it will impose tougher tariffs on Chinese aluminium alloys after an investigation into the trade.

Capping a tumultuous day at the White House yesterday, the President slapped a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminium.

In a statement, the US Aluminum Association said: "We appreciate the President’s commitment to strengthening the U.S. aluminium industry. We look forward to working with the President on implementation and to creating a more level playing field."

While the European Aluminium Association has called on the European Commission and EU Member States to protect the aluminium industry.

Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium said: "“We regret President Trump’s decision to impose a tariff on all aluminium imports independent of their country of origin. European aluminium exports to the US, in view of both their quantity and characteristics, do not pose any threat to US national security. Most importantly, this blanket tariff does not address the root cause of the main challenges faced by the aluminium industry today: the unsustainable and steady increase of aluminium overcapacities in China. This global challenge can only be managed effectively through a global and long-term solution based on multilateral rules and common enforcement such as the creation of a Global Aluminium Forum within G20.”

According to reports, the move sets the US on a collision course with major steel producer China, whose top trade official, Lui He, is in Washington for talks. China has indicated it could retaliate by targeting US agricultural exports such as soybeans. Canada has also condemned Trump’s decision.

Alunorte production cut

Alunorte production cut

The Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability in the Brazilian state of Pará (SEMAS) issued a statement late on Monday stating it will order Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA’s alumina refinery Alunorte to cut production by 50 percent due to non-compliance with a resolution to achieve a freeboard of 1 meter in the bauxite residue deposit DRS1. 

In addition, SEMAS said it would order the Paragominas bauxite mine to suspend operations at one of two tailing dams at the plant.

SEMAS said it would formally notify the company on Tuesday, 27 February.

In the original resolution from Friday, 23 February, SEMAS ordered Alunorte to reduce the water level in the DRS1 deposit following extreme rainfall on 16-17 February that led to regional flooding.

“We have taken considerable measures to meet the deadline at Alunorte, and we will continue with full force to make sure that we comply with expectations and requirements,” says Hydro CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg. “We will continue our dialog with local authorities to ensure that we take all necessary steps to ensure safe and sound operations – with respect for people, the environment and for the local communities that we are a part of,” Brandtzæg says.

While it is too early to determine the size and impact of the resolution, it could potentially have significant operational and financial consequences.

Measures implemented at Alunorte to comply with SEMAS’ resolution have led to continuous improvement in the average DRS1 freeboard – the distance between the top of the tailing dam and the water level.

The resolution by SEMAS came after Brazilian environment minister José Sarney Filho expressed similar concerns during a press conference on Monday evening local Brazilian time, calling on the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) to implement any necessary mitigating actions to remedy the worries about a possible water contamination in the local area, including fines or a possible suspension of activities at Alunorte.

SEMAS also said it would introduce daily fines of around BRL 1 million until Alunorte reached a freeboard of at least 1 meter at DRS1.

Hydro owns 92.1 percent of the Alunorte alumina refinery and 100 percent in the Paragominas bauxite mine.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y9v5v434

Innoval appointment

Innoval appointment

Innoval Technology (Innoval), a technical consultancy to the global aluminium industry, today announced that Dr Mike Clinch will become leader of their Materials Development Group with immediate effect.

As Materials Development Group Leader, Mike will oversee the company’s InnovateUK collaborative R&D projects as well as development work with existing clients. He will also take an active role in creating new business.

Dr Gary Mahon, Managing Director of Innoval Technology, commented, “I am delighted to welcome Mike to Innoval. He brings with him a wealth of experience in applied materials research, product development and process engineering. Furthermore, Mike is a strong advocate of collaborative R&D and will drive the development and commercialisation of new technologies which are key to Innoval’s Materials Development activities.”

Mike joins Innoval following a 20-year career at Luxfer Gas Cylinders where he held several Senior Management positions, including Director of Innovation at Luxfer Europe, and VP of Technology & Innovation at Luxfer North America. 

He is also chair of the Light Metals Division of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

For more information visit: www.innovaltec.com

European Alu awarded

European Alu awarded

European Aluminium received the award for “Best Association Networking Event” and won second place in the “Best Association Publication or Newsletter” category at the 2018 European Association Awards ceremony held in Brussels.

The “Best Association Networking Event” award was for European Aluminium’s public event “Driving Mobility to a Low Carbon Future”, which was held in Autoworld (Brussels) on 27 April 2017. With more than 250 participants and speakers from EU institutions, industry and academia, the event explored the potential of lightweighting to reduce CO2 emissions in transport through panel debates, keynote speeches and an interactive Aluminium Playground showcasing the best aluminium solutions in mobility.

The silver award for “Best Association Publication or Newsletter” was awarded to European Aluminium’s external newsletter “Storytime: Beyond Brussels”. The newsletter highlights aluminium's role in the wider society and features the people and initiatives that are shaping the industry. Each edition features several videos and focuses on a different topic; from mobility to aluminium packaging and the circular economy.

“It is a great honour to be recognised with two awards this year,” said Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium. “The awards are an acknowledgement of our ambition to put aluminium on the forefront of the Brussels agenda, our passionate staff and our members and other partners with whom we have had the pleasure to work with on these two projects.”

In addition to the two wins, European Aluminium was also shortlisted for “Best Membership Initiative” with its Sustainability Roadmap towards 2025 and “Best Communications Campaign with a Secretariat of more than 10 people” for its Every Can Counts recycling awareness programme in partnership with beverage can manufacturers, reprocessors and brands.

The prestigious European Association Awards are organised by GCN Events and recognise exceptional achievements of associations in Europe at national and pan-EU levels. The over 100 award submissions were subjected to an independent and rigorous judging process by over 25 judges, all of whom are Secretary Generals or CEOs of leading European associations.

Last year, European Aluminium was awarded Best European Association Website 2017.

For more information visit: https://www.european-aluminium.eu

Hydro bids for ISAL

Hydro bids for ISAL

Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA has made a binding offer to acquire Rio Tinto’s 100% share of Icelandic aluminium plant ISAL.

The offer also includes the Dutch anode facility Aluchemie and Swedish aluminium fluoride plant Alufluor.

Transactional highlights

Binding offer to acquire Rio Tinto’s Icelandic aluminium plant Rio Tinto Iceland Ltd (“ISAL”), its 53% share in Dutch anode facility Aluminium & Chemie Rotterdam B.V. (“Aluchemie”), and 50% of the shares in Swedish aluminium fluoride plant Alufluor AB (“Alufluor”) for USD 345 million, subject to post-closing adjustments.

In accordance with French and Dutch law, Hydro’s offer triggers a statutory consultation with Rio Tinto employees and other stakeholders. Given successful consultations, and approval from the EU competition authorities, the transaction is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2018, making ISAL, Aluchemie and Alufluor part of Hydro’s global operations.

Strategic rationale

Reinforces leading European position: ISAL produces 210,000 mt liquid metal and a total of 230,000 mt extrusion ingot for the European building, construction and transportation segments from its newly built casthouse with full ultrasonic testing capabilities. This will further strengthen Hydro’s position as the preferred and leading extrusion ingot supplier in Europe.            
Renewable Energy: Hydro is one of the world’s leading aluminium producer based on renewable energy. With ISAL’s 210,000 mt of aluminium based on renewable power, Hydro increases its total capacity in primary aluminium production to 2.4 million mt in 2018 and its share of production that is based on renewable energy to over 70 percent.

Integrated value chain: The transaction reinforces Hydro’s strategic direction of being a fully integrated aluminium company, with a solid asset base, portfolio flexibility and sustainable global operations.

“The offer demonstrates our strong belief in aluminium, which is seeing the strongest global demand growth among base metals. Having presence across the value chain is essential to create value from this growth and promote sustainable practices in our global operations,” says Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

Hydro sees synergies with respect to technology creep, optimization of anode portfolio and freight and handling. The Icelandic plant runs on the same technology platform as Hydro’s Husnes plant in Norway, where Hydro recently announced a re-opening and technological upgrade of the plants’ second electrolysis line.

“We see great potential in exchanging competence and technology elements between our aluminium plants. We are now running a technology pilot in Norway which aims to be the world’s most energy-efficient and climate friendly aluminium production facility. These innovations will be expanded to other Hydro facilities, and as part of Hydro, ISAL will benefit from such technological spin-offs and competence,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, Head of Hydro’s Primary Metal business area.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y9xvfqpd

UC Rusal appointment

UC Rusal appointment

UC RUSAL has announced the appointment of Alexandra Bouriko, previously Chief Financial Officer, as Chief Executive Officer of RUSAL.

Vladislav Soloviev, who previously held this position, has been appointed CEO of En+. He will also become the President of RUSAL.

As CEO, Alexandra Bouriko’s focus will be on the Company’s long-term development, specifically through the implementation of RUSAL’s facilities efficiency programme as well as the introduction of modern technologies, reducing the Company’s environmental footprint. She will also drive the output growth of value-added products, focus on the development of the domestic market and concentrate on the continued expansion of aluminium applications cross-sector.

Alexandra Bouriko’s experience and professionalism within the Company alongside her solid knowledge of the industry will allow RUSAL to deliver value growth for all shareholders. As a whole, the executive changes will bring additional synergies to the Metals and Energy segments of the En+ Group.

Alexandra Bouriko has been RUSAL’s CFO since October 2013. From June to October 2013 Alexandra Bouriko served on the board of UC RUSAL. From November 2012 to October 2013 Alexandra Bouriko had been Deputy CEO of En+ and was responsible for En+ Group’s operational management, enhancing the business’ effectiveness and improving of En+ Group’s financial performance. Prior to joining En+ Alexandra Bouriko spent 16 years with KPMG in Russia and Canada, where she was appointed a Partner in 2005. Alexandra graduated from the economic faculty of Lomonosov Moscow State University. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

For more information visit: https://rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/21169/

Alba appointment

Alba appointment

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C (Alba) has announced the appointment of Dr. Abdulla Habib Ahmed as the Acting Chief Operations Officer (COO) with immediate effect.

Dr. Abdulla joined Alba in 1995 as a Trainee Engineer. During the last 22 years, he has held various supervisory and management roles in Alba -- Superintendent Reduction Line (2002); R&D Manager (2009); Reduction Lines Manager (2011); Customers Technical Support Manager (2013); Director of Reduction Lines and Services (2015) and Director of Reduction Line 6 Start-up (2017).
 
Commenting on Dr. Abdulla’s appointment, Alba’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Murray, said:
“At Alba, we believe that the key to our success is to develop and promote our people from within the Company then harness their true potential.
Abdulla has more than 20 years of diversified operations experience in Alba and showed great mettle during the Line 5 Recovery situation.
His appointment as the acting COO of Alba comes at a notable time as we progress on the Line 6 Expansion Project and I am confident the Executive team will greatly benefit with Abdulla in the new position.”
 
Dr. Abdulla attained PhD. degree in Chemical Engineering - Aluminium Smelting from University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia in June 2016. He has an MBA from French Arabian School/ESSEC in addition to B.Sc.in Chemical Engineering.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ydf3wsj9

ElvalHalcor contracts SMS

ElvalHalcor contracts SMS

ElvalHalcor has awarded a contract to the German SMS Group GmbH, to supply a new four-stand tandem aluminium hot finishing mill for its Oinofyta plant, near Athens.

This order is part of a EUR 150 million investment in equipment, technology and infrastructure, announced by the Company on the signing of the loan agreement with the European Investment Bank on December 22, 2017, for its financing. This investment represents the first phase of the Company’s five-year plan to more than double its flat rolled aluminium products capacity.

With the new four-stand tandem mill, the future spectrum of hot rolled strips will range from 1.8 mm to 12.7 mm in thickness and up to 2.6 m in width, and will secure ElvalHalcor’s position as one of Europe’s leading producers of wide aluminium sheet.

This investment allows for the increase of ElvalHalcor’s current presence in aluminium packaging, industrial, transportation and architectural applications and sets the base for expansion in the automotive and aerospace sectors.

The new investment also supports the further modernisation of the plant, introduces the latest industrial technology, increases energy efficiency and improves the environmental footprint.

The new hot rolling line will start production in the first quarter of 2020.

Section 232 update

Section 232 update

Whilst reviewing the report released by the US Department of Commerce (DoC) on the effect of imports of aluminium on national security, European Aluminium reconfirms its belief that the root cause of the main challenges faced by the aluminium industry is global excess capacity, in particular in China.

Potential measures should address these imbalances without distorting global trade flows and interfering with the current trading relationship between the United States and Europe.

“Last year, we provided data and evidence during the US Congress hearing on the Section 232 investigation that prove European aluminium imports, in view of both their quantity and characteristics, do not pose any threat to US national security. Both parties know that overcapacity is a global and structural problem that requires a global and long term solution such as the creation of a Global Aluminium Forum within G20. We believe that we need to stick to an approach based on multilateral rules and common enforcement in creating an enforceable global playing field for all producers that can promote competitiveness and jobs on a regional level but can also encourage innovation across our unique transatlantic hubs,” said Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium.

The American and European value chains are strongly interlinked, adding value to both societies as a whole and strengthening national security in the US. Today, 15 multinationals are members of both European Aluminium and the American Aluminum Association and supply a vast majority of the entire aluminium value chain on both sides of the Atlantic on a daily basis.

“The proposed unilateral measures would cause great harm to the European aluminium industry and further imbalance global trade flows without addressing the increasing overcapacities in China. Should the US decide to enforce these measures, we count on the support of the European Commission to use all its possible trade defence instruments to protect the European industry against further harm,” concluded Götz.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7t2vzs4

Alumina investment

Alumina investment

Rio Tinto says it is investing $250 million in its Vaudreuil alumina refinery in Quebec to extend the life of the operation past 2022.

The company says work on the refinery, located in the Saguenay region of the province, will include construction of a filtration plant and optimisation at a site to manage bauxite residue.

Rio Tinto says it's also looking to identify ways of getting value out of the residue, which in general is mostly made up of iron oxide, titanium dioxide, silicon oxide, and undissolved alumina.

The company says the Vaudreuil refinery, built in 1936, supports more than 1,000 jobs and generates about $135 million in annual regional economic benefits.

The investment announcement in the Vaudreuil refinery comes as a strike continues at the ABI aluminium smelter in Quebec, 75 per cent owned by Alcoa and 25 per cent by Rio Tinto.

UC Rusal appointment

UC Rusal appointment

UC Rusal is pleased to announce the creation of a new Downstream Division in the company's organisational structure.

Andrey Donets has been appointed Head of the new division, whose main tasks will include developing value added production and bringing this business of the company to a whole new level.
 
The Downstream Division includes the foil, packaging, and wheels production facilities of the company.
 
Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of RUSAL, commented: “The strategy that RUSAL is implementing to increase the share of value added products in total output and the progress we have made so far require that we look for new points of growth. Strengthening our management team with such a professional as Andrey Donets with his experience in the industry will allow the company to boost its positions in the downstream market both in Russia and abroad”.

For more information visit: https://rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/21053/

ALLIANCE project update

ALLIANCE project update

The ALLIANCE project in collaboration with INNOGET is offering an exclusive opportunity for INNOGET users to submit their lightweight innovations to the ALLIANCE project technology call. 

The successful submission will be fast-tracked to the validation phase of the ALLIANCE Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge.

Large and small companies, research centres, universities, and even individuals with innovative lightweighting technologies, are invited to submit their ideas, co-develop them with the ALLIANCE OEMs, suppliers, and knowledge partners, and shape the vehicles of tomorrow.

Europe’s key car manufacturers, including Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen, CRF – the Research Center of FCA; suppliers (Thyssenkrupp, Novelis, Batz, Benteler) and knowledge partners (Swerea, Inspire, Fraunhofer LBF, RWTH-IKA, KIT-IPEK, University of Florence, Bax & Company, Ricardo) are the forces behind ALLIANCE.

They share the common goal of reducing vehicle weight by developing new materials and manufacturing technologies, as well as optimising part design.

The ALLIANCE partners are providing innovators with one final chance to participate in the competition and present their lightweighting solutions in two categories: Materials, and Manufacturing.

Potential applicants have until March 1st to submit their innovations through INNOGET. Do not miss this chance to have your technologies discovered by Europe’s leading automotive OEMs.

For more information visit: www.lightweight-alliance.eu

Mecfor poised for growth

Mecfor poised for growth

Benefiting from a major investment by its new Canadian financial partner—SeaFort Capital—and from a strong and unchanged management team, the Quebec-based company has become independent and now wants to double its revenues.

Mecfor is committed to a development plan focused on mergers and acquisitions in the primary and secondary aluminium sector, innovation and diversification towards rail maintenance equipment and the nuclear sector.

"We are pleased to announce this historic transaction, which gives Mecfor a new financial partner, providing access to capital and resources that will enable us to accelerate our ambitious development plans. We aim to reach new heights by focusing on a bold strategy based on mergers, acquisitions, sustained investment in innovation, and operational diversification," says Éloïse Harvey, B. Eng. & Mgmt, President of Mecfor.

Through this transaction, which consolidates over 85 jobs at its factory and headquarters in Chicoutimi, Mecfor becomes independent from Groupe Ceger. Mecfor now has the financial resources and the necessary capacity to continue its growth.

The Quebec company is considering several merger and acquisition projects, both in Quebec and at the international level, and is actively engaged in discussions with key players in the primary and secondary aluminum sectors. Mecfor's growth will be accompanied by significant investments in innovation, especially in artificial intelligence, and by the development of its rail maintenance equipment operations.

For more information visit: www.mecfor.com

First sealed cathode

First sealed cathode

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), has announced that its Line 6 Smelter achieved a significant milestone - the First Cathode Sealing Operation - on Wednesday January 31, 2018.
 
The first cathode is an integral part of the pot lining activities for the new Line 6 pots based on the Dubal DX Ultra Technology that is being employed at the Line 6 Smelter.
 
Commenting on this achievement, Alba’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Murray, said: “We are very much pleased with the overall progress we have made on Line 6 Smelter. The focused-approach adopted by our team has yielded nicely on the progress of Engineering (79%), Procurement (83%), Contracts (97%) and Construction (17%) simultaneously.

We look forward to the on-schedule completion of Line 6 Expansion Project and have everything checked to be ready for commercial operations."

For more information visit: http://www.albasmelter.com/mc/News/Pages/2018/First-Sealed-Cathode-Achieved-for-Albas-Line-6-Smelter.aspx

New GLAFRI President

New GLAFRI President

The Global Aluminium Foil Roller Initiative (GLAFRI), concluded its recent General Assembly by announcing the election of Göksal Güngör as its new President with immediate effect.

This follows Oliver Hommel stepping down from his role as he left the aluminium foil industry. Mr Güngör, General Manager of Assan Alüminyum, previously served as one of the three Vice-Presidents.
 
Upon his appointment, Mr Güngör thanked his predecessor for his excellent past service and said, “I am very honoured to take over the role as the next President of GLAFRI and look forward to supporting and contributing to its important initiatives to support foil market growth worldwide. We will continue to focus on promotion of aluminium foil and demonstrating the capabilities in the areas of sustainability and resource efficiency.”
 
As recent data from CRU indicates, the global market for aluminium foil in 2017 developed at a growth rate of above 5%, and the outlook for 2018 remains positive along these lines.
 
Mr Güngör added: “The coming year presents many exciting opportunities for foil rollers as the world economy once again gains momentum. We anticipate further growth in 2018 and all members of GLAFRI are working hard on innovation and market development to ensure we take maximum advantage of the positive outlook.”
 
Furthermore, Olaf Müller of Hydro was elected as Vice-President and will complete the Board together with the other long serving Vice-Presidents, Mr Simon Chan, Xiashun, and Mr Patrick Lawlor, Granges.

For more information visit: http://www.global-alufoil.org/index.php?id=76

New ALFED member

New ALFED member

The Aluminium Federation, the trade body for the UK aluminium industry, has welcomed its hundredth member.

The Federation re-structured in 2015 to a ‘direct membership’ model, where individual companies are members in their own right, rather than through an intermediate grouping. Since then the Aluminium Federation has recruited more than 30 new members, many of them companies that manufacture in aluminium, as well as those that process or recycle aluminium.

The latest company to join the Aluminium Federation is Arlington Automotive. The tier-1 supplier employs more than 360 at manufacturing sites in Coventry, Birmingham, Derby and Newton Aycliffe. Arlington’s supply chain supply chain capabilities include design, manufacture, pressing, coating, welding, assembly and logistics.

“It’s fantastic news that Arlington has joined us,” commented Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead. “The use of aluminium in the automotive supply chain is growing rapidly, and Arlington joins our growing cluster of members in this sector, where companies increasingly collaborate to commercialise innovative technical developments in aluminium."

For more information visit: http://www.alfed.org.uk

Holton Crest development

Holton Crest development

Holton Crest Ltd has embarked on an ambitious development programme to drive continuous improvements in extrusion processes and lead the technological revolution to bring next generation CRE applications to market.

By investing in the best technology, talent and engineering skills in partnership with some of the world’s leading producers and institutions, Holton Crest has already seen huge success with many different machine configurations being installed all over the World.

At wire 2018, Holton Crest will be showcasing these different machine configurations, along with the latest technology developments to demonstrate how the continuous rotary extrusion industry has progressed over the last two years. 

As specialists in Continuous Rotary Extrusion, Holton Crest currently offer 3 different extruders, HC1100, HC2200 and HC4000. With installations in Europe, North and South America, for both aluminium and copper processing (with some machines capable of transforming both metals), Holton Crest have delivered on major projects where reliability, productivity and efficiency are extremely important.

Managing Director Malcolm Ladd says, 

“The fruits of our labours have been realised over the last two years, during which we have supplied multiples of five different configurations of our dual axis ‘next generation’ HC machines, including two large systems, several small ones, and one with particle feed. 

The recent configurations include 1 wire in 1 product out, 1 in 2 out, 2 in 1 out, and 2 in 2 out. The 1 in 2 out machine for aluminium in Europe we believe to be the largest single machine CRE contract to date, which really demonstrates our capacity to deliver at the highest level, with many different applications.”

Holton machines have been in existence for over 30 years, with some still going strong today, a testament to the outstanding build quality in itself. But Holton Crest is committed to continual improvement, specifically focused on the CRE process itself. They have designed, built and put into production a new generation of machines with new technology and digital controls that open up a whole new world for process improvements.

As Malcolm continues:

“A lot of our research has been put into the software, user interface and control system, which has enabled us to launch a new software and adaptive control system. We are now working on developing artificial intelligence, which will automatically try alternative settings when running the process in order to learn the optimum settings for a particular material. This makes the process up to 50% more efficient, which could be game-changing for many of our customers.”

But this technology is not just exclusively available on new machines – Holton Crest have also been working on a comprehensive future-proofing and modernisation programme of older machines. For example, by introducing digital controls and modernising certain components on a ten year old line, customers could see significant improvements in their production processes by increasing functionality, productivity, efficiencies, coil quality and running speeds.

Knowledge and experience is the foundation on which everything at Holton Crest is built. As specialists in the Continuous Rotary Extrusion market, they are driving the process forward and leading the market with investments in people, skills, technology and R&D to realise the full potential of the CRE process in modern manufacturing. 

For more information visit: www.holtoncrest.com

Sohar resumes production

Sohar resumes production

Sohar Aluminium successfully resumed full operations in record time after an unexpected disruption in its normal operations, which led to the complete shutdown of its Potline on August 4th, 2017.

The entire plant was involved in the recovery efforts to ensure the fastest return to full production, while sustaining excellent safety standards. The recovery process was recognised as an important accomplishment within the Aluminium industry.

Sohar Aluminium pays tribute for this great success to all its employees and contractors for their resilience, determination, and their “all-inclusive teamwork”. The Company takes pride in its entire team that demonstrated excellence and efficiency of its operations, and thanks its Shareholders, Oman Oil, TAQA and Rio Tinto and all Stakeholders for their trust and unlimited support. 

Programme announced

Programme announced

The Future Aluminium Forum is a live discussion that will examine how Industry 4.0 and ‘smart manufacturing’ will revolutionise aluminium manufacturing and processing and analyse the benefits that can be gained from doing so.

The conference programme has just been announced and will feature presentations from companies including Hydro, UC Rusal, SAP, QuinLogic GmbH, Ametek Land, CentroAl, CiAl and many more.

You can view the programme here

For more information visit: https://futurealuminiumforum.com/conference

UK Alloy plant agreed

UK Alloy plant agreed

The GFG Alliance has welcomed the decision of the Highland Council South Area Planning Committee today (30th January) to grant full planning permission for a new 400-worker alloy wheel factory next to the Liberty British Aluminium smelter at Fort William.
 
The consent, which comes with a number of standard conditions, clears the way for the company to begin detailed design on the landmark project to develop the UK’s only large scale alloy wheel plant, with work hopefully beginning on site later this year.
 
It is intended that the new plant – part of a £120m investment by GFG at Fort William - will use aluminium from the adjacent smelter to manufacture up to two million wheels a year for the British car industry, with production beginning in early 2020. The ambitious plans for the site will make Fort William a major centre for the automotive industry, supplying at least one fifth of all the wheels required by UK vehicle manufacturers.
 
Speaking after today’s decision, Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance which includes Liberty British Aluminium said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone in the development of a very exciting project and are very grateful to the Council for giving this matter their close attention over recent months. We also appreciate very much, the valuable input of the many statutory bodies, other organisations and the local community, who have worked with us on the wide range of issues associated with this development, which will add major value to the Highland economy.”
 
“Our plans for Fort William will not only transform the economic prospects of the area but also create the UK’s only large scale alloy wheel plant, a major step forward in Britain’s manufacturing capabilities. We plan to invest heavily in R&D to develop a world class product, made in the Scottish Highlands. We look forward to continuing to work with these bodies to fulfil the conditions set out in the planning consent and then to move ahead quickly with the building of the plant,” he added.
 
In addition to the skilled employment created at the wheel factory itself, GFG envisages that there will be hundreds more jobs generated in businesses supplying the plant and in the wider Highland economy.
 
Through the Lochaber Delivery Group, set up by GFG and the Scottish Government, a range of local and regional bodies are working together to address the issues – including housing, infrastructure and local services – associated with an industrial development on this scale. The new plant will be one of the biggest such projects of its kind in the Highlands for decades.

GARMCO Appointments

GARMCO Appointments

Commenting on this occasion, Mr. Jawad Al Qallaf, Vice Chairman of GARMCO said, “We are proud to have appointed top qualified Bahraini executives who have shown leadership skills to guide the organisation forward. The appointments are in line with the company’s sustainability strategy and is expected to drive the growth of GARMCO.”

Mr. Mohammed Essa (pictured), appointed as GARMCO’s General Manager. Mohamed has over 30 years of work experience in the company. He holds a BSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Pune, a High National Diploma in Material Science Engineering from Sheffield Hallam University and MSc degree in Material Science Engineering from Bahrain.

Mr. Taj Mohamed Shaikh, appointed as Executive Manager – Finance. Taj has over 11 years of work experience in GARMCO. He holds a degree in Financial Accounting & Auditing from the University of Bombay, India and Advanced Diploma in Business Administration from Welingkar Institute of Management – India.

Mr. Ebrahim Khalil, appointed as Executive Manager – Operations. Ebrahim has over 27 years of work experience in GARMCO.  He holds a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration-Specialised in PPP Management, BSc in Mechanical Engineering and Associated Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

Mr. Mohamed Alrafaei, appointed as Executive Manager – Sales & Marketing. Mohamed has over 20 years of work experience in GARMCO. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration-Specialised in PPP Management, BSC in Metallurgy and Material Science Engineering from the University of Bahrain. 
“We would like to congratulate the new team and wish them every success in their new roles,” concluded Mr. Al Qallaf.

Pilot starts production

Pilot starts production

Today, Hydro started producing the first aluminium metal at the technology pilot in Karmøy, marking the start of verifying at an industrial scale the world’s most climate-and energy efficient aluminium technology.

“We’re now producing aluminium in the technology pilot, and we are very excited that we can now start to use this technology at an industrial scale,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, Executive Vice President for Hydro’s Primary Metal business area.

Compared to the world average, the Hydro-developed technology will use 15 percent less energy in aluminium production and has the lowest CO2 footprint in the world. The low energy consumption, coupled with high productivity, means that Hydro can safely say that the technology pilot in Karmøy will be a world leader.

“Through the technology pilot we have developed the world’s best electrolysis technology: low energy consumption, high productivity, and a low environmental footprint,” Aasheim says. 

The groundbreaking technology pilot consists of physical technology elements and a much improved process control system. Several of these elements can be tailored for and used in Hydro's existing aluminium plants, which is why the technology is not only good news for Karmøy, but for all of Hydro's primary aluminium plants.

The technology pilot is designed with an annual production capacity of approximately 75,000 tonnes, consisting of 48 cells running on the HAL4e technology (12.3 kWh/kg) and 12 cells using the HAL4e Ultra technology (11.5-11.8 kWh/kg). Total costs are estimated at NOK 4.3 billion, consisting of net project costs of NOK 2.7 billion and around NOK 1.6 billion in support from Enova. 

For more information visit: https://hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2018/hydro-starts-production-at-technology-pilot/

Novelis investment

Novelis investment

Novelis Inc., has announced plans to build an approximately $300 million automotive aluminium sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky.

The greenfield facility, with an annual nameplate capacity of 200,000 metric tons, will include heat treatment and pre-treatment lines, which prepare aluminium for use in vehicle parts such as body-in-white, hoods, doors, lift gates and fenders. The company expects to break ground in early spring and create approximately 125 jobs at the new facility, which is slated to open in 2020.
 
“Today’s announcement by Novelis to expand its capabilities in North America is a strategic decision fully supported by the Aditya Birla Group to maintain the group’s leadership position in the global metals sector and its ongoing commitment to serve both upstream and downstream customers,” said Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the board of directors of Novelis Inc. and chairman of the board of directors of Hindalco Industries Limited. “We are immensely proud of this latest investment and look forward to seeing it flourish.”
 
“As the global leader in automotive aluminium sheet production, Novelis is leveraging its strong balance sheet, technical expertise and proven product excellence to make this strategic investment that will ultimately add to its unmatched manufacturing footprint and deliver innovative solutions to the marketplace,” said Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Industries Limited and a member of the board of directors of Novelis, Inc.
 
This investment is the latest addition to Novelis’ extensive network of automotive finishing lines. Demand for automotive aluminium is expected to rise according to the 2017 Ducker Worldwide survey projection that aluminium content in North American passenger vehicles, particularly light trucks and SUVs, will increase 42 percent from its 2015 level by the year 2028.
 
“Aluminium is a growing material of choice for the automotive industry worldwide as auto manufacturers continue to demand more and more aluminium to produce lighter, safer and stronger cars, trucks and SUVs,” said Steve Fisher, President and CEO, Novelis, Inc. “Novelis will continue to innovate alongside our automotive customers to lightweight the vehicles of today while looking ahead to meet the mobility needs of the fleet-based economies of tomorrow.”
 
The new facility will be in close proximity to Logan Aluminium Inc., a Novelis joint venture in Russellville, Ky., and several nearby automotive manufacturing plants.

“We are excited to see Novelis, a leader in the global aluminium industry, expand its Kentucky presence and bring new advanced-manufacturing jobs to Todd County,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “Partnering with companies like Novelis, who are investing here for the long term, supports the state’s economy and advances our efforts to make Kentucky the center for engineering and manufacturing excellence in America. We are grateful to Novelis for this tremendous vote of confidence in our workforce and for broadening their footprint in Kentucky.”
 
More than 200 different vehicle models on the road today feature Novelis aluminium. Many of the world’s premier brands including FCA, Ford, GM, Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota have called on Novelis to help design the safest, strongest and most durable cars and trucks.

For more information visit: http://novelis.com/guthrie

Axion joins REALITY

Axion joins REALITY

Axion is undertaking further research into increasing recycled aluminium content in new vehicles as part of REcycled ALuminium Through Innovative TechnologY (REALITY), a new £2 million collaborative project led by Jaguar Land Rover.

Working with other consortium partners, the Manchester-based resource recovery specialist will focus on techniques for sorting and separating specialist alloys from aluminium derived from end-of-life vehicles.

Part-funded by Innovate UK, REALITY is an extension of the REALCAR (REcycled ALuminium CAR) projects, initially launched by Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 to create a closed-loop process for post-industrial aluminium scrap from its vehicle manufacturing. The original project and subsequent work with suppliers enabled Jaguar Land Rover to reclaim more than 75,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap and re-use it in the aluminium production process in 2016/17. The three-year REALITY project builds on the success of this earlier work.

Axion’s Head of Circular Economy, Richard McKinlay comments: “The REALITY project will refine the process of turning aluminium from ‘end-of-life’ cars into new vehicles. It will continue to deliver significant sustainability benefits, with aluminium recycling requiring up to 95% less energy than primary aluminium production.”

Axion’s research will focus on proving the technical and economic viability of separation techniques for the many different non-ferrous metals, such as zinc, copper and brass, from the scrap aluminium, and for separating the different aluminium alloys from each other.

Richard explains: “These extracted aluminium alloys will also be extensively tested to assess their suitability for reuse in new vehicles. If we can extract the right alloys and reuse them in the right components, then we will have created a closed-loop value chain for automotive aluminium.”

The new project will consider advanced sorting technologies and evaluate the next generation aluminium alloys for greater recyclability. Axion’s team will work on developing the sorting technologies for recovery of high-grade recycled aluminium.

Axion will evaluate and optimise sensor-based sorting technologies alongside collaboration with Novelis, Norton Aluminium, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Brunel University and Innoval Technology.

Richard adds: “This ground-breaking research will contribute towards the development of the circular economy for the automotive sector and enhanced environmental performance. Innovations in the sorting and separating technologies applied to automotive end-of-life waste streams will also help other sectors, including packaging and construction."

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y967yy2d

Danieli supplies UC Rusal

Danieli supplies UC Rusal

UC RUSAL, Russian Aluminium, a leader in lightweight metals manufacturing, contracted Danieli for the supply of a rolling mill specifically for conducting research, to be installed at company’s Engineering and Technology Center in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. 

The new rolling mill will allow RUSAL researchers to perform and accelerate the development of new aluminium alloys and processes in the most comprehensive, efficient and economical way, enabling a low-risk implementation of the newly developed process knowledge.

One of the major requirements of the requested mill is the flexibility to replicate all potential rolling operations, ranging from hot rolling of thick ingots to cold rolling of thin sheets. 

The technical solution to roll the requested aluminum alloys consists of a 2-high single-stand combined hot/cold reversing mill with a rolling width of 500 mm, to roll thicknesses from 100 to 1 mm.

All process parameters will be logged by a data analyzer system for detailed evaluation by the metallurgists.

For more information visit: https://www.danieli.com/en/news-media/news-events/investing-product-and-process-innovation_37_275.htm

Next generation pots

Next generation pots

UC RUSAL has announced the launch of  pilot operation of eight new generation RA-550 pots at Sayanogorsk Aluminium Smelter.

The total amount of investment in the project amounted to USD 30 mln.

The project to develop the technology and launch the RA-550 site at SAZ was implemented within three years.

The key advantage of this new development made by the Technical Directorate of RUSAL is its high energy efficiency. RA-550 consumes 10-15% less electricity versus pots of previous generations. Due to design and technological solutions, RA-550 became lighter, more compact, and more environmentally efficient. The RA-550 technology applies a number of innovative engineering solutions that define the new standard of the industry:

·Fundamentally new busbar design with two-side current supply that ensures a symmetrical magnetic field and high MHD stability without using a compensating loop.

·'Modular busbar principle' that lifts restrictions for creating higher capacity pots.

·Maximisation of metal production per unit of area in the premises due to establishing a new pot width standard.

Barry J. Welch, Professor of the Auckland University, New Zealand, a world's leading expert in technology of aluminium production using high-capacity baked anode pots, was invited for independent expert appraisal of the design, technology and pot maintenance methods on the pilot RA-550 site at SAZ. The Professor has already had experience in working with RUSAL: he audited RA-300 and RA-400 technologies.

Professor Barry J. Welch commented: 'The RA-550 project development period and its implementation, as well as operational maintenance meet the cored world standards. As early as at this stage, the RA-550 technology can be recommended for implementation at new smelters with the amperage of 525 kA confirmed at the prototypes'.

Victor Mann, Technical Director of RUSAL, commented: 'The successful launch of the RA-550 technology is a true breakthrough event for RUSAL. Its distinctive feature is lower electricity consumption and the best environmental indicators among all companies of the industry. Given the competitiveness of this project and its parameters, this technology can be demanded both during upgrading the existing smelters of the company and when constructing new facilities'.

According to the designed capacity, a RA-550 pot will produce 4.21 tonnes of aluminium per day that is almost twice the level of the RA-300 technology applied at Khakas and Boguchany Aluminium Smelters.

To implement the import substitution programme, equipment and materials of domestic production were used as much as possible when developing the RA-550 technology.

For more information visit: https://rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/20793/

MTI New member

MTI New member

Tenova has become a member of the Metals Technology Industry Anti-Corruption Collective Action Initiative.

The Metals Technology Industry (MTI) Anti-Corruption Collective Action Initiative has recently expanded its membership. Tenova S.p.A. has joined the three founding members of the Initiative: Danieli & C Meccaniche S.p.A., Primetals Technologies Limited and SMS GmbH - in their anti-corruption Collective Action efforts. Tenova S.p.A. is a leading mechanical engineering company for the steel and non-ferrous metals processing industry headquartered in Castellanza, Italy.

The MTI Collective Action Initiative provides a forum for the members to develop anti-corruption compliance best practices to ensure fair competition in the metals technology industry in the countries in which they operate. The Collective Action Initiative is facilitated by the International Centre for Collective Action ICCA, a Swiss-based non-profit anti-corruption competency centre within the Basel Institute on Governance.

Senior management representatives of the three founding members have been meeting regularly under supervision of the ICCA since 2013 to address anti-corruption compliance in their business sector. The Member companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) setting out their anti-corruption commitments and proposed actions to promote their anti-corruption principles.  

The founding members went public with their Initiative in September 2016.
Following media reports of the MTI Collective Action, Tenova contacted the ICCA to learn more about the Initiative and to request whether it could become a member.  “All companies in the metals industry face similar corruption risks around the world.  We immediately saw the benefits of joining forces with other industry leaders in harmonising our anti-corruption management approach,” said Andrea Lovato, CEO of Tenova S.p.A.  Tenova S.p.A. presented its company to the MTI members, who ratified its addition to the Initiative in July 2017.

“We are pleased to see this development within the MTI Initiative,” said Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Compliance, Corporate Governance, and Collective Action at the ICCA.  “New companies bring new perspectives, encouraging all Initiative members to continuously improve their anti-corruption compliance systems.”

Smelter sale

Smelter sale

Rio Tinto has received a binding offer from Liberty House to acquire Rio Tinto’s Aluminium Dunkerque smelter in northern France for $500 million, subject to final adjustments.

In accordance with French law, Rio Tinto will launch a consultation process with employees, relevant European works councils and other stakeholders in relation to the bid. Subject to satisfactory completion of these consultations, Rio Tinto expects to complete the sale of Aluminium Dunkerque in the second quarter of 2018.

The proposal received from Liberty House, which acquired Rio Tinto’s Lochaber Smelter and assets in Scotland in December 2016, includes plans for the modernisation of the site.

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said “The binding offer for the sale of Aluminium Dunkerque represents the best option for the future development of the site while also delivering value for Rio Tinto as we continue to streamline our portfolio.

“Liberty House has a track record of investing in similar assets, which should secure a long-term sustainable future for Aluminium Dunkerque and continued economic benefit for the wider community”.

ALFED Appointment

ALFED Appointment

The Aluminium Federation, the trade body for the UK aluminium industry, has announced the appointment of a new chief executive.

Tom Jones joins the organisation from MMC Hardmetal UK, part of the Mitsubishi Materials group, where he was general manager. Tom has more than 35 years experience of working in manufacturing.

The Aluminium Federation has grown its membership in recent years, to around a hundred companies. Members include Arconic, Bridgnorth Aluminium, Novelis, Hydro and Liberty British Aluminium. The Aluminium Federation manages the All Party Parliamentary Group for the UK Aluminium Industry, and is a founder member of UK Metals Council.

Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead said: “We are delighted that Tom has joined the Federation to lead our team in driving forward our activities and increasingly giving value to our members. Tom brings with him many years experience in the metals industry, in aluminium and other materials, and having someone of his calibre at the helm will enable us to continue to grow and flourish during this exciting time for aluminium.”

Tenova: New CEO

Tenova: New CEO

Effective 1st January 2018, Roberto Pancaldi has become the new Tenova Metals CEO, assuming the role of Andrea Rocca, who, after five years in Tenova, has taken new responsibilities in Tecpetrol, another company of the Techint Group.

Pancaldi – 55 years old – who was by now the Tenova Metals Chief Operating Officer, joined the Techint Group as Process Engineer in 1988 and has spent his entire career in Techint and then in Tenova. He held various positions of leadership in different functions and business units of the Metals Division, contributing actively to the development and expansion of the company. His deep awareness of our technologies and products will guarantee the continuity of the projects and will support and stimulate the innovation drive which characterises the Tenova’s approach to business.

For more information visit: www.tenova.com

New furnace order

New furnace order

Rusal Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter in Russia has ordered a new billet and slab homogenizing furnace from Danieli Olivotto Ferrè.

The scope of work includes engineering, equipment supply, delivery and supervision of the erection and commissioning.

The new furnace, which will be installed in the Krasnoyarsk plant, is designed for homogenizing of slabs and billets of all aluminium alloys in series 1 to 9.

The unit will heat-treat products with sizes ranging from 300x700 mm up to 800x3,200 mm, and diameters from 127 mm up to 1,320 mm, in lengths from 1,000 mm up to 6,800 mm. Final cooling will be performed by means of air flow.
The plant will consist of one movable electrical homogenizing furnace on wheels with two fixed bases and one removable cooling system, which is to be located on the furnace roof when not in operation, in order to optimize the available space.

Optimal metallurgical performances will be achieved by coordinating the best capabilities of the heating system (electrical type) and superior recirculation system (high-speed axial fan installed in each zone).

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ych5p6hl

Innovation challenge

Innovation challenge

Phase 1 of the ALLIANCE Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge is drawing to a close and lightweight innovators have until February 1st to perfect and submit their innovative lightweight solutions.

The winners will get technical support throughout the period of the Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge and have the opportunity to pre-assess the feasibility of their technology in a virtual vehicle model. They will also get the chance to present their results in a dedicated side-event at the Aachen Body Engineering Days 2018, and have the opportunity to bring their technologies to a board of the six ALLIANCE OEM’s (Daimler, Opel, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen, CRF- the Research Centre of FCA).

The challenge, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by finding innovative and affordable solutions to lightweight cars, has been created by Europe’s key car manufacturers; Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen, CRF – the Research Center of FCA; suppliers (Thyssenkrupp, Novelis, Batz, Benteler) and knowledge partners (Swerea, Inspire, Fraunhofer LBF, RWTH-IKA, KIT-IPEK, University of Florence, Bax & Company, Ricardo).

The ALLIANCE partners are inviting innovators to participate in this competition and present their lightweighting solutions in two categories: Materials, and Manufacturing.

Participants will get technical support throughout the competition period and will have the opportunity to pre-assess the feasibility of their technology in a virtual vehicle model used in the ALLIANCE project.

A jury of industry professionals will judge the solutions on three criteria: technology quality, vehicle applicability, and complementarity with ALLIANCE. Submitted technologies will be included in all dissemination activities of the ALLIANCE project and presented to an extensive technical group of potential customers.

Bax & Company, who are overseeing the challenge said, "It's a great opportunity for Europe's innovators to work with some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world."

For more information visit: www.lightweight-alliance.eu

Optimising production

Optimising production

Quintiq has announced its partnership with Alro, the largest aluminium smelter in the Central and non-CIS Eastern European region.

Quintiq’s solution will provide capacity planning, inventory management and production scheduling support capabilities.
 
A member of the world’s seventh largest aluminium producer Vimetco N.V., Alro aims to increase its delivery performance and production volume while keeping costs low and minimising scrap. The company also plans to increase its momentum in highly demanding sectors such as aerospace and automotive metals. Quintiq’s supply chain planning and optimisation solution will help Alro reach these goals and maintain its regional dominance by providing full visibility over its entire supply chain to enhance delivery performance and maintain high customer satisfaction levels.
 
“Visibility creates value,” said Dobra Gheorghe, Alro’s General Director. “Quintiq’s streamlined approach to scheduling gives us full visibility of our present situation, enabling us to better anticipate demand, lead time and potential bottlenecks. This allows us to be more resilient against unforeseen disruptions. Increased assurance of on-time in-full deliveries also enables us to maintain the trust and satisfaction of our customers.”
Alro’s first project with Quintiq is expected to go live in early 2018. Alro has set specific goals that it aims to achieve for the duration of the project. These include a reduction in work-in-progress inventory; an increase in throughput; a reduction of power consumption to achieve sustainability goals; and improved delivery performance.
 
Quintiq’s successful 20-year track record in the metals industry enabled it to develop solutions that can quickly be implemented with minimal customisation, yet tailored to fit Alro’s unique processes, rules, requirements and constraints. Quintiq specialises in end-to-end solutions configured to meet the specific needs of its customers. However, its process-specific metals solutions have the added advantage of being a cost-effective option for companies seeking to quickly optimise specific aspects of their operations before expanding to a large-scale, fully-customised solution.
 
“Quintiq’s extensive expertise and experience in the metals industry has resulted in the development of proven solutions that bring true value to our customers,” said Markus Malinen, Vice President EMEA-Russia at Quintiq. “Our symbiotic relationship with the industry has resulted in solutions that truly fit the metals landscape and are capable of quickly showing tangible results in the real world. We are confident that Alro will soon experience the full benefits of Quintiq’s optimisation technology.”

EGA alumina deal

EGA alumina deal

Emirates Global Aluminium has signed a three-year alumina supply agreement with Vinacomin, a Vietnamese state-owned firm.

Under the agreement, Vinacomin will supply EGA with up to 300,000 tonnes of alumina per year. Alumina is the feedstock for aluminium smelters.
The deal is the first long-term agreement to supply Vietnamese alumina to the UAE and significantly boosts the bilateral trading relationship between the two countries.

The agreement was signed in Hanoi by EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Abdulla Kalban and Vinacom’s President and Chief Executive Officer Dang Thanh Hai, and was witnessed by the UAE Ambassador to Vietnam His Excellency Khalid Alqahtani.

Abdulla Kalban said: “This agreement with Vinacomin is in line with our strategy to diversify our sources of supply for alumina, to secure the resources that the UAE’s aluminium industry needs to grow at competitive prices. We are pleased to have Vinacomin as an alumina supplier for EGA, and also to see the economic relationship between our two countries grow. We hope to develop our relationship with Vinacomin further in the future.”

Dang Thanh Hai said: “Although Vinacomin's alumina just entered the world alumina market four years ago, it has been accepted by world-class customers, such as EGA, one of the leading premium aluminium producers, as expressed by the signing between Vinacomin and EGA.
 
“For Vinacomin, this agreement is in line with the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, to contribute to promoting cooperation between Vietnam and the UAE. We look forward to further cooperation for mutual benefit in the future.”

Alumina is refined from bauxite, the ore from which most of the world’s aluminium is derived. EGA currently imports all the alumina it needs.
EGA is building the UAE’s first alumina refinery at Al Taweelah in Abu Dhabi. Once construction is completed and full production is achieved, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will produce 2 million tonnes of alumina per year, enough to meet 40 per cent of EGA’s requirements.

EGA is also building a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in the Republic of Guinea in West Africa.

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

ASI Update

ASI Update

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) has launched a new Certification program for the aluminium value chain, focused on responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of this important industrial metal.  

Aluminium is a versatile and highly recyclable metal that is seeing growing demand in a wide range of sectors such as transport, construction, packaging and electronics. ASI's new Certification program will cover all stages of the value chain for aluminium, including bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting, semi-fabrication, product design and manufacturing, and recycling.

Following today's launch, ASI members can now seek Certification against ASI's Standards. The ASI’s Performance Standard covers critical issues for the entire aluminium value chain including greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, material stewardship, biodiversity and human rights.  ASI’s Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard links responsible production with responsible sourcing and thus increases the emphasis on sustainability issues in procurement. Implementation of both Standards should see the first ASI Aluminium available from 2018 or 2019.

"This is a really pivotal moment for ASI. Today's launch marks the start of a new certification that will embed sustainability and human rights principles into the production, use and recycling of aluminium, and is the culmination of many years of collective effort. ASI’s key strength is its robust multi-stakeholder governance and standards-setting process. With a growing global membership, we have an opportunity to make significant impact," says Daniel Weston, Chair of the ASI Board and General Counsel & Global Head of Corporate Affairs for Nestlé Nespresso SA. 

"Supply-chain certification programs like ASI are becoming increasingly important for customers and stakeholders, who seek assurance that companies' sustainability practices are genuine. Through extensive stakeholder participation and consultation, ASI has designed Standards that provide a shared platform to address key issues and create B2B incentives for their implementation. We are excited about the next steps as member companies work towards achieving the first ASI Certifications in 2018," says Dr Fiona Solomon, ASI Chief Executive Officer.

ASI's development strategy has included in-house development of data platforms to help manage the certification process for both ASI members and auditors. The ASI online assurance platform, known as elementAl, was piloted with members in 2017 and continues to be expanded with new functionalities.

ASI was incorporated as a not-for-profit entity in 2015, and has a global membership that is open to all interested organisations. It is governed by a Board of eight, with six elected from members organisations and two independent directors.

ASI's Standards Committee oversaw public consultation processes in 2016 and 2017 to develop and finalise the Standards, supporting Guidance and assurance model. ASI's Indigenous Peoples Advisory Forum liaises with the Board and two representatives participate in the Standards Committee.

Key topics such as biodiversity (including ecosystem services and protected areas), climate change, recycling, and human rights will continue to be the focus of ASI Working Groups, to prepare for future revisions of ASI Standards and Guidance and support peer learning. 

The first ASI Accredited Auditors were announced in November 2017 and additional applications are in process. 

ASI's Standards have been launched in English and will be translated into a range of other languages in 2018.

For more information visit: https://aluminium-stewardship.org

Upgrade and start up

Upgrade and start up

Hydro has made an investment decision to upgrade and start up the second production line at Hydro Husnes, Norway.

With both lines in operation, production of primary aluminium at Husnes will double.

In the restart of the line, which was shut down in 2009, Hydro will introduce new technology elements that will give better results. The line is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2020 and will create 90 new positions. 
 
"We have great faith in continued aluminium production in Norway. We are making use of new technology elements in this re-start, and building up a robust and future-oriented plant at Husnes. For Husnes, this means increased profitability, lower energy consumption and additional jobs," says Hilde Merete Aasheim, Head of Primary Aluminium in Hydro.

Hydro Husnes today produces about 95,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year. With the re-start, the plant will produce approx. 190,000 tonnes of aluminium annually.

"In the aim of minimising operating costs we have, since 2009, sourced equipment and components from the closed line for operations and maintenance of the producing line. This means that we need to upgrade the closed line before re-starting, and we make use of new technology when we do so that will contribute to increased productivity and lower energy use," Aasheim says.

The expected total investment for the upgrade and re-start is NOK 1.3 billion (in 2017 terms). Final build decision is expected in Q3 2018.

Hydro Husnes employs 245 people, and became fully owned by Hydro in November 2014.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7plkdls

EGA: Port agreement

EGA: Port agreement

Emirates Global Aluminium has signed a long-term port facility agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports to use some of the world’s largest bulk cargo vessels to import raw materials through Khalifa Port.

With this agreement, Abu Dhabi Ports will be able to develop the port to become the first in the Gulf capable of directly handling these massive ships.

Abu Dhabi Ports will fund and complete dredging and widening works to the Khalifa Port approach channel and basin including EGA’s berth. The dredging will deepen the channel to 18.5 metres and basin to 18.0 metres basis zero tide. EGA plans to use large dry bulk ships to import raw materials without the need to transfer all or some of the cargo to smaller vessels outside the port, reducing long-term shipping costs and improving environmental performance.

The agreement was signed at EGA’s head-quarters in Al Taweelah (KIZAD) by Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Ports and Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA.
In alignment with Abu Dhabi Port’s strategy the partnership between the two entities supports regional development by enhancing value to customers. The company has played a pioneering role by introducing other first-time ventures in the Middle East, including making Khalifa Port the region’s first semi-automated terminal, and developing Maqta Gateway, the first Emirati Port Community System (PCS). 

The development at Khalifa Port is expected to lead to larger ships calling in to Abu Dhabi, creating new trade opportunities, supporting local industries and boosting the Emirate’s position as a global maritime trade hub.

EGA will use Capsize vessels to ship bauxite ore, the feedstock for alumina refineries, from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. Currently, EGA is constructing UAE’s first alumina refinery next to its aluminium smelter in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi, located adjacent to Khalifa Port, ensuring streamlined logistics. Upon achieving full-production, the Al Taweelah alumina refinery will process five million tonnes of bauxite per annum.
Captain Al Shamisi said: “Today’s announcement marks another first for Abu Dhabi’s maritime and trade industry, and demonstrates our commitment to ongoing innovation and expansion in response to market and customer demands. As vital trade, logistics and industrial hubs of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port and KIZAD play a vital role in the Emirate’s economic diversification strategy. Khalifa Port will be the first port in the region with capsize vessel handling capacity, and with EGA’s long term commitment, will give an important boost to trade and investment in KIZAD and more broadly in the region.”

Abdulla Kalban said: “Dredging Khalifa Port to allow fully-laden Capesize vessels to reach EGA’s berth will reduce our costs, simplify our bauxite supply chain, and improve our environmental performance. I am also pleased that the enhanced capabilities at Khalifa Port will enable broader trade and economic benefits for Abu Dhabi.”

Khalifa Port is located halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and is one of the most efficient and technologically advanced in the world, currently serving more than 20 shipping lines. KIZAD, the region’s largest industrial zone, covers 410 square kilometres around Khalifa Port.

EGA’s site is the biggest industrial facility at KIZAD and covers an area five times the size of Al Marayah Island in Abu Dhabi. EGA also operates an aluminium smelter at Jebel Ali in Dubai. Al Taweelah alumina refinery will produce 2 million tonnes of alumina per year, meeting 40 per cent of EGA’s requirements for feedstock for aluminium smelters.

Bauxite ore from Guinea will be transported to Abu Dhabi via the global shipping firm K-Line, under a separate agreement with EGA. Earlier this year Mr. Kalban attended the naming ceremony for one of the vessels K-Line will use for this service. The vessel was named Cape Taweelah.

Capesize vessels are amongst the largest dry bulk cargo ships. They are named Capesize because they are too large to transit the Suez and Panama Canals and must round the southernmost point of mainland Africa (Cape Aughulus) to transit between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the southernmost point of mainland South America (Cape Horn) to transit between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

Partnership announced

Partnership announced

STAS have announced a new commercialisation partnership with HENCON, a world-wide supplier of Mobile Equipment for the heavy industries. 

As of now, STAS becomes an exclusive agent for HENCON products for Canada. 

STAS will ensure the promotion and sales of the HENCON delivery program of mobile and stationary equipment, including related spare parts and services. 

For Canadian customers, this partnership ensures compliance with Canadian standards such as CSA while our geographic proximity guarantees a better service. 

For more information visit: http://www.hencon.com

Extrusion plant acquisition

Extrusion plant acquisition

Hydro Extruded Solutions AS has agreed with Arconic to acquire its two extrusion plants in Brazil.

The agreement will strengthen Hydro's downstream position in Brazil and create a solid platform for further growth.

"We believe in the integrated business model and Brazil is the country where Hydro's entire value chain is present. From bauxite and alumina, via primary production to extruded solutions, this will strengthen our ability to serve our customers," says President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

The two extrusion plants in Utinga and Tubarão in southern Brazil have combined more than 600 employees, 1 cast house, 7 presses ranging from 7 to 14 inches and value-added capabilities.

The transaction is in line with Hydro's strategy of selected growth within its business area Extruded Solutions, and will further strengthen Hydro's position in Brazil.

"We believe in the importance of being close to our customers to offer high quality customised extrusionsand local support. With the acquisition of Utinga and Tubarão, Hydro will become the market leader in the Brazilian extrusion market," says EVP and head of Extruded Solutions, Egil Hogna.

Under the terms of the agreement, the price include a cash payment from Hydro of $10 million, subject to working capital and other adjustments.
 
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval from relevant competition authorities in Brazil, and is expected within the first half of 2018.

For more information visit: https://www.hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2017/hydro-acquires-arconics-extrusion-plants-in-brazil/

Novelis investment

Novelis investment

Novelis Inc., has announced a $4.5 million manufacturing investment at its facility in Warren, Ohio.

The investment in state-of-the-art technology provides greater versatility for pretreatments, improves operational efficiency and reduces costs over time. Novelis’ Warren facility has 75 employees dedicated to applying coating to rolled aluminium sheet. The sheet is then used for production of lids for the tops of aluminium beverage cans, producing enough for more than one billion beverage can lids each month.

“We are thrilled to announce this local investment,” said Paul Nelson, Plant Manager. “Due to a steady U.S. can market and Novelis’ strong financial performance across the globe, we are making the investments necessary to sustain our operation here in Warren for many years to come.”

Novelis supplies industry-leading beverage can materials to some of the world’s most recognisable brands, including Coca-Cola, AB InBev and PepsiCo.

“I applaud Novelis for making this important investment here in Warren. As Co-Chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus, I know American manufacturing is the backbone of our economy, and I am committed to promoting and expanding this vital industry. Novelis is proof that innovative manufacturing technologies are growing right here in the Mahoning Valley and that our region is a great place to do business. I am proud to work with them and I look forward to continuing to bring business and investments into our community,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13).

Ohio Senator Rob Portman said, “I am pleased that Novelis has decided to invest $4.5 million in its Warren facility, and I hope its partnership with the local community will continue to grow stronger over time. Ohio’s manufacturing industry is unmatched, and this investment is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the 75 employees in Warren. In the Senate, I will continue fighting against unfair foreign trade practices to ensure Ohio manufacturers and workers can compete on a level playing field.”

“Novelis’ investment in Ohio is a testament to the strength of Ohio’s workforce,” said Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. “These planned improvements signal the company’s commitment to Warren and the women and men who work at the plant.”

For more information visit: http://investors.novelis.com/news-releases?item=643

Bauxite Transport Deal

Bauxite Transport Deal

TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K .Lines Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) today announced that it held a signing ceremony for a five year bauxite transport contract with Alufer Mining Limited (Alufer; Chairman: Adonis Pouroulis, CEO: Bernard Pryor(*)

The contract was signed by Toshiaki Tanaka, MOL’s Head of Dry Cargo, and Bernard Pryor at MOL’s offices in Tokyo.

Alufer has received all required permissions from the government of Guinea with regard to building the Bel Air bauxite mine and construction commenced in January 2017. The Bel Air mine is located 15km from the coast near the Cap Verga peninsula, 120km north of Guinea’s capital, Conakry and has a JORC compliant resource of over 146mt of trihydrate bauxite with low reactive silica. Alufer is building and will operate the new Cap Verga export facility which will enable the loading of Capesize vessels anchored 32km from the coast. Bauxite production is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2018 and reach production of 5.5 million tonnes per annum. MOL's ocean shipping services will support the project.
 
MOL continues to take a proactive stance in providing safe, reliable and efficient transport of bauxite from the Republic of Guinea and anticipates strong growth in demand for this commodity in that the current market for seaborne bauxite is approximately 100mt per annum and is forecast to grow 40% by 2025, primarily driven by import requirements in China.
 
(*)Incorporated in June 2010, Alufer is an independent mineral exploration and development company with significant bauxite interests in the Republic of Guinea.

Photo: Left: Alufer CEO Mr. Bernard Pryor
Right: MOL Managing Executive Officer and Director General of Dry Bulk Business Unit Toshiaki Tanaka

For more information visit: http://www.alufermining.com

Innovation contract

Innovation contract

Liberty House Group signs multi-million pound 'contract for innovation'

International metals, industrials and engineering group, Liberty House, has signed a multi-million-pound partnership with the prestigious research centre, the Materials Processing Institute, designed to accelerate the growth of the business through innovation.

The Group, which is already the UK’s fastest-growing industrial enterprise, with 5,500 employees, aims to use the Materials Processing Institute’s world-leading technical and scientific expertise to help it develop advanced manufacturing processes and a new generation of products across its plants in the UK and Australia.

The landmark deal will see the flagship North of England-based innovation centre provide a range of research services to the steel industry giant to help achieve its GREENMETAL vision for competitive, low-carbon, steel and aluminium production.

The Institute will help deliver large scale operational efficiency improvements, as well as product and process capability enhancements to Liberty’s operations.

The agreement covers three major research programmes to support the growth and development of the Liberty business.

One programme is targeted at Liberty’s Speciality Steels business, based in Stocksbridge, near Sheffield in the UK, which will benefit from a research programme to enhance capability of super high-quality engineering and aerospace steels.

Another project will target the Liberty OneSteel business in Australia, with a focus on process efficiency improvement, cost reduction, quality and output.

The final strand of the agreement covers the development of an integrated supply chain for high-value plate and offshore steels, made at the Liberty plate mill at Dalzell in Scotland.

Jon Bolton, Chief Executive of Liberty’s UK steel division, said: “Metal production is a tough, competitive market, but we intend to play an increasingly prominent role in the sector by developing high-value-added products using the most efficient, low-carbon and integrated processes. Through this exciting contract for innovation, the Materials Processing Institute will play a key role in helping us to achieve that. We have already developed a productive working relationship with the Institute and we are delighted to formalise this into a partnership that we believe with forge major new growth possibilities for the business.”

The Materials Processing Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, UK based research and innovation centre, working with industrial clients in advanced materials, low carbon energy and the circular economy. The Institute has a global reputation for innovation in steel, partnering with many of the leading companies in the industry and undertaking research projects for the major steel clients around the world.

The agreement with Liberty House Group further strengthens the Institute’s position within the industry, having recently been ratified as an affiliated member of WorldSteel; the international trade body for the iron and steel industry.

The Materials Processing Institute has also worked with a number of global steel organisations this year; welcoming delegates to its campus from across Europe and beyond, all seeking to take advantage of its expertise.

Chris McDonald, CEO of the Materials Processing Institute, said: “I would like to welcome Liberty House into partnership with the Institute. We look forward to applying our expertise to enabling the global Liberty businesses to be at the forefront of new technology and to provide a tangible and immediate financial benefit for its business.

“This agreement is further recognition of the Institute, not only as the leading centre for steel innovation in the UK, but as a highly sought after and valued partner for the global steel industry. This is based on our long track record, our specialist research assets and, crucially, the unique expertise of our people.

“Liberty House Group is one of the fastest growing steel producers and an integrated energy, materials and manufacturing group of businesses. The group has invested heavily in the UK, including at Hartlepool in Tees Valley, which is close to the Institute’s campus. We are delighted that Liberty has chosen to join other steel companies as part of the Institute Partnership Programme. This will enable us to work alongside Liberty to develop technological enhancements to its products and processes, as we do for many other steel companies around the world.”

Photo: (L-R) Chris McDonald with Jon Bolton

For more information visit: http://www.recognitionpr.co.uk/clients/id/22180

Can partnership

Can partnership

Ball Corporation has collaborated with leading sparkling water brand PERRIER® to produce an exclusive, limited edition can for the French and Belgium
markets. 

The limited edition, titled Perrier X Wild, has seen a close collaboration between Ball and PERRIER to bring to life the colourful and vibrant designs created by rising Cuban artist, Juan Travieso.

Celebrating the wild style and natural character of the PERRIER brand, the new limited edition explores the beauty of wildlife through Travieso’s unique vision, the vibrancy of which is rendered through Ball’s high definition printing techniques and capabilities. Perrier X Wild encompasses three different and distinctive designs to “embody nature in the heart of today’s urban jungle” (Juan Travieso, 2017) including an owl, gorilla and panther.

The aluminium Sleek® and Slim cans offer brands within the soft drink category the opportunity to better communicate the premium nature of their products in a way which other packaging types are unable to achieve.

For more information visit: http://www.ball.com

Extrusion competition

Extrusion competition

ET Foundation and Bonnell Aluminum invite entries for 2018 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition.

The ET Foundation, the educational and scientific organization devoted to promoting and advancing aluminum extrusion processes and technologies, has issued the Call for Entries for the 2018 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition.  The 2018 competition is divided into two classes: Professional and Student. Cash prizes and student scholarships will be presented to the top designs.  Bonnell Aluminum is the sole sponsor for the cash awards, totaling $20,000, including a $3,500 Grand Prize.
 
Professional designers, engineers, and manufacturers along with students studying design and engineering at universities, colleges, technical schools and high schools around the world are invited to participate.  The ET Foundation will accept entries for the 2018 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition through April 2, 2018. Entry in the competition is free and judging will take place following the entry deadline.

The 2018 Call for Entries, containing the details and entry forms, can be downloaded at www.ETFdesign.org.

The aim of the competition is to promote the understanding and use of extruded aluminium profiles, as well as highlight innovations and recognize excellence in aluminium extrusion design. 

Student Scholarships will be presented as cash awards to the top student designs, including $3,000 for First Place, $2,000 for Second Place, and $1,000 for Third Place. Students also may compete for the Bonnell Sustainable Design Challenge Scholarship Award of $2,500. 

Professionals compete in a separate category from students, and entries received in the Professional Class will be divided into four categories: Structural/Architectural, Transportation, Engineered Products, and Alternative Energy.  First-place cash prizes in the amount of $2,000 will be awarded to the best design in each category. Individual designers and companies are eligible to enter the Professional Design Competition.

The winners of the 2018 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition will be announced at the new AEC educational event, Extrusion Design University – EDU ’18, scheduled for May 14-16 in Chicago, Illinois. The event will bring together aluminium extrusion industry experts and designers, engineers, and users of extrusions who are interested in honing their aluminium extrusion knowledge, understanding and design skills. In addition to the cash awards, winning designers will be offered a complimentary registration to EDU ’18. For more information on the event, visit AEC.org/EDU18.

For more information visit: www.ETFdesign.org

Hydro: Low-carbon

Hydro: Low-carbon

Hydro today announced two new low-carbon aluminium products, designed to help customers reach their sustainability goals and meet the demand from ever more climate-conscious consumers.

The new products will be independently certified by DNV GL. 

The new products are: 
• Hydro 4.0: hydropower-based aluminium with a maximum content of 4.0 kg CO2 per kg aluminium, and;
• Hydro 75R: aluminium with a guaranteed post-consumer recycled content of minimum 75 percent 

“We are proud of our industry-leading climate strategy that has resulted in producing aluminium with the lowest energy consumption and the lowest emissions in the world, and our aim to become carbon-neutral from a life-cycle perspective by 2020. As every part of our aluminium production is managed in-house, we can now take the next step by launching certified sustainable aluminium products,” said Svein Richard Brandtzæg, Hydro’s CEO. 

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ycdu7xqf

Aluminium park

Aluminium park

Aluminium Association of India (AAI) and leading aluminium association ASSOMET & AMAFOND of Italy will soon sign a MoU for investing in joint venture in the upcoming Aluminium Park at Angul in Odisha.

The Aluminium Park is being developed by leading Navratna central public sector National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) and Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO).

The Consul General of Italy Damiano Francovigh along with other officials today met NACLO Chairman cum Managing Director Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD and the Chairman of AAI here and held discussion for Industrial cooperation and collaboration between Aluminium Industries of India and Italy.

During the discussion Chand proposed the Italian Industry delegation led by Consul General and Ambassador of Italy to visit NALCO and other Industries in Odisha to which the Consul General agreed.

“With large bauxite reserves and presence of major aluminium players like NALCO, Hindalco and Vedanta, Odisha is considered to be the aluminium capital of India,the NALCO CMD said adding that the global firms should come forward for investing in joint ventures with up-stream and down-stream units.”

NALCO sources said the MoU is scheduled to be signed during the next visit of the Italian Industry delegation in January 2018.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y999ox2z

Association news

Association news

The Aluminum Association applauds Commerce Department’s Self-Initiation of Unfair Trade Cases on imports of common alloy sheet from China

The Commerce Department will now conduct investigations of whether imports of common alloy sheet from China are being sold in the United States at unfairly low prices, as well as whether Chinese producers of common alloy sheet are receiving actionable subsidies from the Government of China. 

“The Aluminum Association and its members enthusiastically support the decision announced today by the Department of Commerce and Secretary Wilbur Ross to self-initiate unfair trade investigations concerning imports of common alloy sheet from China,” stated Heidi Brock, President & CEO of the Aluminum Association. “We are extremely grateful for the efforts and leadership of Secretary Ross in vigorously enforcing the U.S. trade laws.  The Aluminum Association and its members seek to help ensure that common alloy sheet from China entering the United States is fairly traded.” 

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/yawflb3b

Alba: GE 9HA GT

Alba: GE 9HA GT

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), home-base of the Line 6 Expansion Project, set the benchmark for sustainable power generation with the successful installation of the first H-class General Electric (GE) 9HA Gas Turbine (GT) at its Power Station (PS) 5.

With this, Alba has become the first aluminium smelter in the world to use the largest and most efficient gas turbine produced by GE.
 
A ceremony was held to celebrate this occasion today, 28 November 2017 under the Patronage of Alba’s Chairman of Board of Directors, Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa and was attended by Alba Board Directors -- Dr. Mohamed Kameshki and Mr. Yaser E. Humaidan from Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company and Ahmed Mohammad A. Al Jabr from Sabic Industrial Investments Co.
 
Alba’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Ali Al Baqali, Chief Power Officer Amin Sultan, Alba Executive Management along with senior officials from GE Power: the President & CEO Power Services, MEA Joseph Anis; the President & CEO Gas Power Systems Sales, MENA Ghassan Barghout; the President & CEO Gas Power Systems Projects, MENA & India Mohammad Ali and the Global Projects Leader, Gas Power Systems Manuel Valverde as well as the CEO of GAMA Ahmet Ligvani were amongst the key attendees at this ceremony.
 
Speaking on this occasion, Alba’s Chairman Shaikh Daij bin Salman bin Daij Al Khalifa said: “Line 6 Expansion Project is our pride. This Project will be transformational as it will raise the bar for sustainability in the global aluminium industry by using cutting-edge technology, both for Potline 6 and the Power Expansion Project.
"The successful installation of the GE 9HA GT is a significant milestone for Alba and underlines our commitment to environment preservation and sustainable development. We thank GE-GAMA Consortium for their continuous support and look forward to successfully achieving all milestones together as per schedule.
 
I thank Alba Executives for their support, and especially Amin Sultan and the PS 5 team for their diligent efforts towards this landmark achievement.”
 
During the ceremony, Joseph Anis presented a token of appreciation to Alba Chairman to mark this significant occasion.
 
President & CEO of GE’s Power Services Business in MEA, Joseph Anis added:
“GE has supported Alba’s vision of growth and operational excellence since the 1970s when we first supplied Frame 5 units for Power Stations 1 and 2. Today, it is our honour to equip and set-up Power Station 5 for Alba in collaboration with GAMA. We are particularly excited that GE’s HA gas turbine technology, which has set industry efficiency benchmarks in the conversion of fuel to electricity, will help Alba’s Power Station 5 become one of the most efficient combined cycle power plants in the Gulf region. As Alba continues its mission to position itself as a leading global smelter, GE remains committed to supporting this journey.”
 
Alba’s PS 5 is a 1,792 megawatts (MW) Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant with an efficiency of 54%. GE and GAMA Consortium is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor PS 5 wherein GE will provide three 9HA gas turbines, three steam turbines and three high recovery steam generators (HRSGs) for PS 5.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y8ungc68

Rio Tinto partnership

Rio Tinto partnership

Rio Tinto has further strengthened its partnership with China’s Tsinghua University, extending the tenure of the Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Joint Research Centre for Resources, Energy and Sustainable Development.

Rio Tinto and Tsinghua University established the Joint Research Centre in 2012 to bring together leading experts from China and around the world to study, generate and share ideas and best practice for sustainable development.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques and Tsinghua University president Qiu Yong witnessed the signing of the agreement to extend the partnership at a ceremony today in Beijing. Rio Tinto Corporate Relations Group executive Simone Niven and Tsinghua University vice president Xue Qikun signed the agreement.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said “Continuation of the Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Centre further demonstrates our commitment to developing a long-term strategic partnership with China.
 
“At Rio Tinto, we strive to add value to the communities in which we operate. As China is attaching increasing importance to the quality of development in the New Era, the research projects conducted by the Tsinghua-Rio Tinto Centre will become even more relevant to China’s long-term strategic goals.”

Tsinghua University vice president Xue Qikun said “Based on the past five years of cooperation between Tsinghua University and Rio Tinto, I am confident in and very much looking forward to our future cooperation.

“Rio Tinto is well-known for its advanced technologies in the energy, mining and materials sectors. As China has entered a new era, we are delighted to be working with leading global companies like Rio Tinto to promote the development of our university, to share and implement our research results, and most importantly, to make contributions to the development of China and the world.

“The extension of our partnership represents a new level, as well as a new era of our win-win cooperation.”

For more information visit: http://www.riotinto.com/media/media-releases-237_23622.aspx

GAC Award

GAC Award

The 2017 GAC Community Service Award goes to the employee volunteers of Sohar Aluminium.

GAC introduced its first community award at Arabal Conference 2017 in Oman and the objectives are to recognise the initiatives in social responsibility and acknowledge the contributions made by GAC members in balancing corporate social responsibility and successful development of their business.

Sohar Aluminium employees completed 885 man hours on community volunteering work with the involvement of 175 employees.

The volunteer activities were different; all the areas of work and contacts came from the employees themselves, using their close contacts with the community to identify the community’s needs.

Example of some of the projects carried out by Sohar Aluminium
Volunteers:
1. Building plastic recycling units for schools to teach students
about recycling and promoting recycling culture.
2. Fitting fans and building shades in local schools to mitigate
heat stress during summer.
3. Maintaining facilities and equipments in sports clubs, health
centers and public parks including construction of ramp for
disabled at the local health center.
4. Cleaning coral reefs, beaches and some roads.
5. Visiting schools during summer for heat stress campaigns or
sick patients in remote area to provide medical awareness.
6. Initiating road safety campaign in schools, exhibitions and local
events.

The employee’s volunteer program improved personal fulfilment of individuals working as volunteer, enhanced team spirit by bringing people from different departments across different functions working together for a common cause.

Arconic expands capacity

Arconic expands capacity

Arconic Inc. has announced plans to install a new horizontal heat treat furnace at its Davenport Works facility in Iowa.

Heat treatment is a required step in the production of certain high-strength products, and is essential for products intended for large aerospace and industrial applications.

This new furnace will enable Arconic to heat treat longer and thicker plate than ever before, including material for Arconic’s recently installed Thick Plate Stretcher, which began commercial production this year and is the largest thick plate stretcher in the world. Need for thick aluminum plate is growing, particularly as demand for composite wings, made with monolithic thick plate wing ribs, increases.

“This investment will help meet both existing and future customer demand,” said Tim Myers, President, Global Rolled Products and Transportation and Construction Solutions. “With this new capability, we will meet increasing demand for plate used for aircraft wing ribs, skins and other structural components, particularly in single-aisle builds. It also opens the door to growth in other markets, such as semi-conductors for consumer electronics and injection molding for automotive applications.”

The $137 million investment is supported by economic development financial assistance from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) and the City of Riverdale. Once the contract is finalised, the assistance will include tax, financing and R&D credits as well as training grants for the Davenport workforce and new employees.

“Arconic has been a great Iowa partner, and job creator,” said Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham. “We look forward to continuing the relationship with this latest project.”

Construction on the project is expected to begin late this year with commercial production expected to start in 2019.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ycj8xcpr

New sheet facility

New sheet facility

Aleris has announced the opening of its aluminium automotive body sheet production facility in Lewisport, Kentucky.

The project, which represents a $400 million investment, positions Aleris to meet significant growth in North American automotive demand as the industry pursues broader aluminium use for the production of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The company began shipping automotive products from Lewisport to customers this month.

"The opening of our new automotive facility in Kentucky marks the completion of a significant piece of our strategic realignment, which includes expanding our capacity and capabilities to serve the automotive industry and other high value end uses,"  Aleris Chairman and CEO Sean Stack said.  "As an experienced supplier to automotive manufacturers in Europe, we look forward to partnering with customers more closely now in North America to bring them the most advanced auto body sheet products in the industry."

Lewisport is the company's first site in North America that is equipped with aluminium auto body sheet finishing capabilities.  Announced in 2014, the expansion includes the addition of heat treatment and finishing capabilities, including a new wide cold mill, two continuous annealing lines and an automotive innovation centre, which includes a state-of-the-art research and development centre in Detroit. 

"Strong customer collaboration in research and development has been a key component  of our success in serving the global automotive industry, and we look forward to building on that success with this expansion in North America," said Andreas Gondorf, vice president, Aleris Global Automotive. 

For more information visit: www.aleris.com

Advanced alloy

Advanced alloy

Novelis has announced its Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 aluminium alloy is now available in North America following its successful application in Europe. 

This heat-treatable alloy provides automakers greater design flexibility due to its superior formability, strength performance and weight savings for outer and inner applications.

The high-formable 6xxx-series alloy enables new opportunities to use aluminium for body sides, door inners, decklid outers and inners, and other closure panels. The alloy can also be used in designs and applications that require bending without the risk of cracking. In addition, Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 creates a weight savings of nearly one-third over steel in inner door applications, benefiting vehicles that need to achieve weight reduction due to consumer's desire for more in-vehicle content, while also improving fuel economy and reducing vehicle emissions.

"As a global leader in automotive alloy innovation, we are excited to offer solutions to meet the growing design and manufacturing needs of North American auto manufacturers," said Ganesh Panneer, Vice President and General Manager of Automotive, Novelis. "As automakers pursue more complex designs and increase the amount of in-vehicle content, the strength and advanced formability of Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 unlocks new engineering potential while offering critical weight reduction compared to steel. The expansion of this alloy into the North American market demonstrates our ability to draw on our automotive expertise and provide proven solutions across the globe."

Advanz™ 6HF - e/s200 is the latest addition to Novelis' existing 6xxx-series. This innovation is part of the company's continued efforts to provide automakers with sustainable, high-performance solutions that can help drive the future of the automotive industry.

For more information visit: http://novelis.com/markets-we-serve/automotive/products/novelis-advanz-6hf-es-200/

Innovation challenge

Innovation challenge

Europe’s leading car manufacturers launch an open Innovation Challenge to reduce emissions 

Europe’s key car manufacturers, including Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen, CRF – the Research Center of FCA; suppliers (Thyssenkrupp, Novelis, Batz, Benteler) and knowledge partners (Swerea, Inspire, Fraunhofer LBF, RWTH-IKA, KIT-IPEK, University of Florence, Bax & Company, Ricardo) announced the ALLIANCE Open Innovation Lightweight Challenge. The challenge aims to reduce carbon emissions, by finding innovative and affordable solutions to lightweight cars. 

The ALLIANCE partners are inviting innovators to participate in this competition and present their lightweighting solutions in two categories: Materials, and Manufacturing. 

The challenge is now open for registration and teams will have until 15 January 2018 to submit their innovative lightweight solutions.
 
Participants will get technical support throughout the competition period and will have the opportunity to pre-assess the feasibility of their technology in a virtual vehicle model used in the ALLIANCE project. 

A jury of industry professionals will judge the solutions on three criteria: technology quality, vehicle applicability, and complementarity with ALLIANCE. 

The winners will get the chance to present their results in a dedicated presentation at the Aachen Body Engineering Days 2018 (18-20th September 2018), and have the opportunity to bring their technologies to a board formed by the six ALLIANCE OEM’s (Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen, CRF – the Research Center of FCA). 

“ALLIANCE is addressing weight reduction in an holistic way. That means we need to work together to achieve the environmental targets. In this context, the ALLIANCE Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge truly meets these needs.” 
Ahmet Dogan, Toyota Motor Europe Bax & Company, who are overseeing the challenge said, " It's a great opportunity for Europe's innovators to work with some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world." 

All of the submitted technologies will be included in all dissemination activities of the ALLIANCE project and presented to an extensive technical group of potential customers. 

For more information visit: www.lightweight-alliance.eu

Hydro fatality

Hydro fatality

An employee was involved in a fatal incident last week while performing routine work at Hydro’s Phoenix, Arizona, aluminium manufacturing facility. 

“At Hydro, safety is our first priority. Our thoughts go out to the family and colleagues of the employee involved in this tragic event,” says Charlie Straface, Hydro’s Business Unit President for Extrusion North America.

The company is temporarily standing down all local operations and will be providing on-site counselling services to employees.

“It is too early to say more about the cause of this incident, but we are together with relevant authorities conducting a thorough investigation to understand how this could have happened,” says Straface.

Hydro’s Phoenix, Arizona, facility has more than 360 people working in the casting, extrusion and fabrication of aluminium extrusions.

Hydro is a fully integrated aluminium company with 35,000 employees in 40 countries on all continents.

For more information visit: https://www.hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2017/fatal-incident-at-phoenix-aluminum-facility/

Can recycling at 73%

Can recycling at 73%

The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in Europe (EU 28 + EFTA) increased by 1.6% to a new record level of 72.9% in 20141.

European Aluminium considers this result an important milestone on its path towards the future split aluminium recycling target of 75% for 2025, proposed by the European Union in its Circular Economy package.
 
On the whole European continent (including other East-European countries, Russia and Turkey) nearly 30 billion cans have been recycled. This means that every second an aluminium beverage can is being recycled somewhere in Europe! Their metal stays in the European circular economy and remains available for the production of new aluminium products. Recycling aluminium takes 95% less energy than producing it from its raw materials. The recycling process also generates only 5% of the greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Aluminium beverage cans contribute to a large extent to the overall recycling result of all aluminium packaging. Although only a few European countries already report specific recycling numbers to Eurostat for the whole aluminium packaging fraction we can safely assume that all European citizens together recycle more than 60% of their used aluminium packaging. However, this also means that the aluminium industry together with its partners in the value chain has to bridge the gap with the newly proposed targets within a relatively short period of time. European Aluminium will continue to play its part in these activities.
 
Maarten Labberton, Director of the European Aluminium Packaging Group, calls upon the EU Member States to make an extra effort to collect, sort and recycle more drink cans and other aluminium packaging items within the coming years. ‘’While we support the ambitious 75% target for aluminium packaging we strongly recommend that local authorities together with the waste management chain invest more in innovative sorting technologies. Fortunately, these investments will pay off quickly, due to the relatively high scrap value of aluminium’.’
 
Through its successful awareness programme with the can manufacturers, Every Can Counts, European Aluminium is continuously addressing the collection and recycling of so called “out-of-home” cans; cans consumed at the workplace, at festivals or other outdoor events. In 2017 Poland and the Benelux countries joined Every Can Counts and more countries are expected to adopt this programme in the near future.

ALLOW launched

ALLOW launched

UC RUSAL reaffirms its environmental credentials with launch of new low carbon aluminium brand ALLOW.

The company is delighted to announce the launch of its bespoke new low carbon aluminium brand, ALLOW, which features a significantly lower carbon footprint – specific volume of greenhouse gas emissions – as compared to the industry average.

As demand amongst consumers grows for more sustainable and environmentally friendly aluminium, RUSAL has seized on the opportunity to utilise its unique access to clean, renewable hydro power to provide a product with a much reduced carbon footprint. ALLOW’s carbon footprint is lower than 4t CO2/t Al, while the world average is currently approximately 12t CO2/t Al (scope 1 and 2 at the smelter). All ALLOW branded metal produced by RUSAL will be independently verified so as to provide credible quality assurance for our customers.

To mark the official launch of the ALLOW brand, customers and representatives from across the aluminium sector were invited to a much anticipated event in London, held during LME Week.

Since its foundation, RUSAL has invested significantly into reducing its environmental footprint by modernising its facilities and developing new technologies. In 2016, its total expenditure on implementing environmental actions totalled USD119.9 million.

ALLOW marks a continuation of the Company’s industry leading strategy of improving the sustainability of its products and becoming a leading low carbon aluminium producer. Since 1990, RUSAL has decreased its GHG emission per tonne of aluminium produced by more than 57% and aims to be even more ambitious in the future.

Vladislav Soloviev, CEO of RUSAL, commented: “The launch of our new low carbon aluminium brand, ALLOW, represents a watershed moment for RUSAL in terms of sales strategy development and work with our customers. We know that consumers are increasingly demanding ever greater detail about the provenance of the products they purchase and their associated carbon footprint. ALLOW will provide consumers and manufacturers alike with confidence that the aluminium used in their products has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry.”

For more information visit: https://allow.rusal.com

European Aluminium news

European Aluminium news

European Aluminium, the voice of the entire aluminium value chain, introduced five new member companies during its General Assembly last week, bringing its total membership to over 85 companies and associations representing more than 600 plants in 30 European countries.

“I am delighted to welcome the new members and I am certain they will make a tremendous contribution through their participation in our horizontal Committees and Market Groups,” commented Gerd Götz, Director General of European Aluminium. “The addition of new members also means a stronger value chain and industry voice. With EU legislation and global market trends creating both opportunities and challenges, it is now more important than ever to have a collective industry response to address issues in key areas such as energy, the circular economy, trade, innovation and sustainability.”

New member companies include:

Aludium
Aludium has over 60 years of experience in the transformation and processing of aluminium. The company has around 800 employees and uses a highly specialised production process to provide sheet metal and aluminium coil products to a wide range of industries. Aludium has the capacity to process more than 220,000 tons of product from its three plants in Amorebieta and Alicante (Spain) and Castelsarrasin (France).

BOAL
BOAL is a designer and manufacturer of aluminium greenhouse roof systems for horticulture. BOAL also produce and supply specialist extrusions to the building, engineering and transport industries. Its custom-made aluminium profiles and high-performance glass and poly greenhouses are used by growers in across the world to help meet the challenge of an increasing global food supply. BOAL has production sites in the UK and the Netherlands.

Liberty House Group
Liberty House Group is an international metals and industrial group. Liberty’s Aluminium division owns and operates the only remaining aluminium smelter in the UK – Liberty British Aluminium. Based in Scotland, the smelting facilities are powered by two neighbouring hydro-electric stations and a complex of on-site bio-diesel units, owned and managed by Liberty’s sister company SIMEC.

E-MAX
E-MAX aims to be the market leader in the processing of recycled aluminium for extrusion applications in Western Europe by offering its customers solutions with a very low carbon footprint. E-MAX is part of the industrial holding company Vaessen Industries and has production facilities in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Kuusakoski Recycling
Kuusakoski Recycling is a provider of industrial recycling services and a processor and supplier of recycled metals in Northern Europe. It provides cost-effective, environmentally responsible recycling services to e-waste collectors, recyclers, enterprises, small businesses, non-profits, original equipment manufacturers, governments and municipalities. Kuusakoski and its subsidiaries have recycling operations in Finland, China, Estonia, the UK, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan and the USA.

An overview of all European Aluminium Members can be found here: https://www.european-aluminium.eu/about-us/our-members/

Danieli supplies Logan

Danieli supplies Logan

Danieli is to supply Logan Aluminum with the world’s most advanced and productive cold mill.

The new investment by Tri-Arrows Aluminum Inc. will feature Danieli DiamondFlex technology for can-stock and automotive flat products.

The new Danieli DiamondFlex 6-High Cold Rolling Mill (CM4 designation) will be installed in a new, dedicated building at Logan Aluminum, in Logan County, in Western Kentucky, USA. The operation of the new mill will further enhance Logan’s capabilities by rolling 29,500 kg [65,000 Ibs] coils with maximum strip width of 2133mm [84”] at speeds of up to 2200 m/min [7217 ft/min]. Logan’s new mill will be the fastest Cold Mill in the world, and also the most powerful with a nominal stand power of 9500kW [12,916 hP].

ALTEK launches AluSalt

ALTEK launches AluSalt

Altek has announced ALUSALT™, a “Mini Salt Slag Recycling” technology that has been developed over the past six years aimed at solving a major aluminium recycling industry challenge.

ALTEK have now successfully installed a large capacity salt slag recycling plant, as a demonstration unit, in Northern Europe at an aluminium recycling operation, where it is currently in the final stages of commissioning and optimisation. The plant has successfully taken salt slag, removed the salt, re-crystalised the salt for re-use, and generated oxides (NMP) that can be used in various markets.

Full commercialisation of this new technology will start in 2018.

For more information visit: https://www.altek-al.com

Can digital printing

Can digital printing

Responding to growing demands for greater flexibility for shorter-run, multi-version beverage packaging, Tonejet, the only manufacturer of advanced electro-static drop-on-demand digital print engines, will put the spotlight on digital printing direct to the can at InPrint in Munich (14-16th November).

Tonejet’s direct-to-can digital printer – Cyclone – with inbuilt Rockwell iTRAK transport system has been designed to remove the barriers associated with small batch canning and includes features and capabilities adapted to the requirements of today’s print environment – a unique approach to beverage can production.

“We’ve chosen to launch Cyclone at InPrint as the show provides us with a great opportunity to discuss developments, changes and requirements within the industry” comments Marvin Foreman, Sales Manager at Tonejet. “We will demonstrate how Cyclone can revitalise production capabilities and create flexible run-length opportunities.”

“This system brings a new level of competitiveness to beverage can production for short to medium runs as well as ultra-short runs” continues Foreman. “Built to accommodate any design at any run length, Tonejet’s direct-to-can printing capabilities provides brands with an opportunity to manage special or one-off print runs and easily accommodate for events or festivals, social media campaigns and competitions or even limited-edition beverages. We recently worked with Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, to produce customised cans for a large music festival they had sponsored.”

Using Tonejet direct-to-can printing capabilities, AB InBev created 10,000 customised cans for Tomorrowland (20-23rd and 28-30th July), the world’s biggest electronic dance music festival, bringing together some 400,000 visitors from around 200 countries.

Tonejet, working together with AB InBev, printed 15 different can designs featuring national flags across just 10,000 units. The cans were produced in the exact quantities required, without the minimum-order restrictions associated with traditional printing. The largest print run was 1400 cans, and the shortest was just 15 cans!

Unlike analogue processes, the low cost of digital can production means that specially brewed and branded products can be produced cost effectively and quickly and every single can could be produced with a different image if required.

Long lead times and minimum order requirements are eliminated, and as the system can print multiple jobs without stopping, product time-to-market is significantly decreased too. The cost per print is comparable to traditional can decorating processes and the digital offering means ‘one is the new minimum’.

The Tonejet Cyclone, with integrated Rockwell Automation iTRAK transport system, will be on show throughout InPrint 2017 in hall A6 on stand 536, demonstrating the many advantages of direct to shape digital beverage can printing.

For more information visit: http://www.bespoke.co.uk/tonejet-brings-direct-can-digital-printing-inprint-munich-2017/

EGA $300m project

EGA $300m project

Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial project in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has completed a three-year, $300 million project to replace older production lines at its Jebel Ali aluminium smelter with the company’s own UAE-developed technology, boosting production capacity and reducing costs and environmental emissions.

All EGA’s 2,777 reduction cells, the swimming-pool sized tanks in which aluminium is smelted, now run on home-grown technology.

EGA produces one tonne in every 25 tonnes of aluminium made worldwide and makes the UAE the world’s fifth biggest aluminium producing nation. Aluminium is the largest made-in-the-UAE export after oil and gas.

EGA has focused on innovation for over 25 years and has used its own technology for smelter expansions since the 1990s, including the construction of EGA’s Al Taweelah smelter in Abu Dhabi which was the largest in the world when built.

The 520 reduction cells at Potline 1 and Potline 3 at EGA Jebel Ali were the company’s oldest and were originally built from 1979.

The new reduction cells each have the capacity to produce 20 per cent more aluminium than those they replaced, with 10 per cent less specific energy consumption to make each tonne of metal.

The new reduction cell’s technology also reduces emissions of perfluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas generated in the aluminium smelting process from anode effects, by 96 per cent.

The project boosts EGA’s production capacity by over 58,000 tonnes of aluminium per year.

The execution of the modernisation project took six million man-hours of work, and was finished without a single Lost Time Injury.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at EGA, said: “This project to replace older reduction cells with UAE-developed technology boosts our competitiveness as one of the largest ‘premium aluminium’ producers in the world as the new reduction cells can produce more aluminium with less energy and with lower emissions. The most important achievement for me though was that a continuous focus on safety meant this challenging project was completed without hurting anyone.”

The replacement work at Potline 1 and Potline 3 was conducted progressively in 16 separate sections, to minimise the time reduction cells were out of production. The first stage took 55 days, but this was accelerated to just 38 days by the final section.

EGA’s latest technology, the 10th generation since the company’s technology development programme began, is amongst the most competitive in the global aluminium industry.

Last year EGA became the first UAE industrial company to license its technology internationally, in a major milestone for the development of a knowledge-based economy. Aluminium Bahrain selected EGA's technology for its new Potline 6 following a competitive tender.

In 2016 EGA produced 2.5 million tonnes of aluminium, a record for the company.

For more information visit: www.ega.ae

Ecosoderberg Pilot

Ecosoderberg Pilot

Rusal has announced the launch of an experimental reduction area at the Irkutsk Aluminium Smelter, which will operate under the EcoSoderberg technology.

The total amount of investment in the project amounted to 540 million roubles.
 
Implementing EcoSoderberg technology is one of the priority retrofitting projects for RUSAL. New generation potcells have a significantly reduced environmental impact, and bring increased energy efficiency to aluminium smelters and automation for the majority of production processes.
 
The pilot production at the Irkutsk Aluminium Smelter includes four retrofitted potcells. Before the end of 2017, the number of modernised potcells will increase to six.
 
Victor Mann, Technical Director of UC RUSAL, commented: “Based on the results of the pilot project, we will decide on the time-frame of the modernisation that will target all operating self-baking anode cells. In total, there are more than 500 of them at the smelter, which in the coming years will be upgraded.”
 
EcoSoderberg is a unique proprietary solution developed by the RUSAL's Krasnoyarsk-based Engineering and Technology Centre. The environmental effectiveness of the technology is due to its improved structural design and effective gas removal system.
 
As of today, over 60% of KrAZ capacities have been converted to the EcoSoderberg technology. Over the past three years, project investments have amounted to over 3 billion roubles. Retrofitting at KrAZ has resulted in a significant improvement in production efficiency and has reduced specific emissions of harmful substances: hydrogen fluoride emissions were reduced by 1.5 times, tarry substance was reduced by 2.7 times, and benzapyrene was reduced by 2.5 times. Re-fitting potcells to EcoSoderberg technology is now taking place at the Bratsk Aluminium Smelter (40 new generation cells have been installed). RUSAL is also planning to convert two potrooms at the Novokuznetsk Aluminium Smelter (NkAZ) to EcoSoderberg.
 
Introduction of the EcoSoderberg technology at IrkAZ is part of the integrated environmental initiatives ran by the smelter. Between 2016 and 2021, RUSAL will invest 5 billion roubles in a comprehensive retrofitting that will involve the modernisation of the treatment facilities and redesign of the gas removal systems.

For more information visit: https://rusal.ru/en/press-center/press-releases/20066/

Rio Tinto talks

Rio Tinto talks

According to reports, Rio Tinto is in advanced talks to sell its aluminium assets in Australia and New Zealand to GFG Alliance, the investment company run by Sanjeev Gupta.

While the talks could end without agreement, Mr Gupta is said to be keen to buy Rio’s Pacific Aluminium business as he looks to build a global industrial conglomerate spanning metals, power, renewable energy and finance.

For more information visit: https://www.ft.com/content/c8f3b678-b269-11e7-aa26-bb002965bce8