Hydro: Husnes line decision

Hydro: Husnes line decision

Hydro has made a final build decision to invest NOK 1.4 billion at Husnes to upgrade and start-up the plant's second production line, which will double the plant's aluminium production and create 90 more jobs.

Since the investment decision in December 2017, Hydro has been detailing the project towards the final build decision.

"We're committing to aluminium production in Norway based on clean, renewable energy and doing so with world-class technology," says Hilde Merete Aasheim, Head of Primary Metal in Hydro.

In the restart of the line, which was shut down in 2009, Hydro will introduce new technology elements that will give better performance at the plant.

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

The line is expected to begin operations in the first half of 2020.

The expected total investment for the upgrade and re-start is NOK 1.4 billion (in 2017 terms).

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

FAF 2019 announcement

FAF 2019 announcement

Quartz Business Media and the International Committee for the Study of Bauxite, Alumina & Aluminium (ICSOBA) have identified a framework for cooperation at the next Future Aluminium Forum.

This framework, captured under an MOU, will encourage cooperation in order to streamline efficiency and create an environment open to innovation, ultimately to stimulate economic activities along the aluminium value chain.

The main objective of ICSOBA is to promote the exchange of ideas and results of the work from different fields of research being conducted globally and related to bauxite exploration and mining, and alumina and aluminium production.

As part of the agreement, ICSOBA will host a session under the theme ‘Aluminium 4.0: when process approach meets a data-approach in mining, refining and smelting’, during the first day of the Future Aluminium Forum.

Taking place on 22nd – 23rd May 2019 at the Sheraton Warsaw, Poland, the Future Aluminium Forum is a live discussion of the issues surrounding Industry 4.0 or 'smart manufacturing' and will endeavour to cover all bases, including the all-important subject of machine learning, digitalisation, disruptive technologies, information sharing, process safety and control.

It is the ideal event for senior level aluminium executives, chief technology officers and specialists with an interest in the application of new technologies to the mining of bauxite, alumina refining and aluminium smelting and manufacturing process. 

The Forum's key audience consists of those with a leading role in process technology excellence, industrial innovation, research and development, digital transformation and value acceleration, process simulation and engineering education and development.

For more information visit: www.futurealuminiumforum.com

Online Auction

Online Auction

Instructed by the directors of ESH Edelstahl AG who are retiring

Stainless Steel & Aluminium Sheet and Strip Grinding, Brushing & Polishing Equipment


•    Hill Acme Sheet to Sheet Grinding & Polishing Line
•    Ungerer Cut to Length Line
•    Eisenblatter Polishing & Patterning Line
•    Carl Wezel Pull Through Slitter
•    Grinding Master MB600 Strip Grinding Line
•    Kunz USM/SBH3 Circle Cutter
•    Rotan Circle Polishing/Patterning/Marbling Machine
•    Schmiedeskamp WSA/S Dual Head Brusher
•    Burkle Plastic Film Applicator
•    Fischer K4/3000 Guilotine Shear
•    Johannsen Horizontal Belt Polisher
•    RAS Type 82.10 Sheet Metal Guillotine 
•    Amada Promecam GPX 630 Programmable Guillotine


Location: Biettgheim Bissingen, near Stuttgart, Germany


Viewing: Anytime by appointment with the Auctioneers


Auction Closes from 1300 Local (12 Noon BST), Thursday 27th September


Further Information: Charles Moses T: +44 (0)7831 854971 E: charles.moses@eddisonscjm.com

ISAL acquisition ended

ISAL acquisition ended

Hydro and Rio Tinto have signed an agreement to end the acquisition process for Rio Tinto's Icelandic aluminium plant ISAL, including its interests in Dutch anode facility Aluchemie and Swedish aluminium fluoride plant Alufluor.

In February 2018, Hydro made a 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 an enterprise value of USD 345 million.

A Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) was signed on 8 June 2018, following successful consultations with Rio Tinto employees in France and the Netherlands.

The transaction remained subject to a number of conditions, including approval by competition authorities, Icelandic governmental authorities and commercial parties. The transaction was initially expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2018.

The European Commission (EC) competition approval process has taken longer than anticipated and remains outstanding. After considering alternative timelines, outcomes and developments, Hydro requested to terminate the transaction and the parties have signed a termination agreement. Hydro has withdrawn its EC competition filing. 

Hydro will continue to own 46.7 percent in Aluchemie.

Alba staff training complete

Alba staff training complete

A group of Aluminium Bahrain engineers have completed more than a year of on-the-job training at Emirates Global Aluminium’s sites in the United Arab Emirates, ahead of the start-up of Alba’s new Reduction Line 6 which has been built with EGA technology.

Some 21 Alba staff participated in the training which took place in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai and was designed to give them experience with the newly installed technology.

EGA licensed its DX+ Ultra technology to Alba in 2016 for use in the Bahraini company’s new aluminium production The deal was the first time a UAE industrial company licensed its large scale technology internationally, and a significant milestone in the UAE’s development of a knowledge-based economy.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “EGA has worked closely with  Alba on the Line 6 Expansion Project, to ensure that the deployment of our technology in Bahrain is completed effectively. We were proud that Alba selected EGA technology for this important expansion project, and look forward to supporting them through a successful start-up in due course.”

Tim Murray, the Chief Executive Officer of Alba, added: “This training has been a crucial part of our preparations to start-up and run Reduction Line 6, as it has provided Alba’s engineers with hands-on experience operating EGA’s technology. We look forward to continuing close cooperation with EGA as we move into the next critical phase of the Line 6 Expansion Project.”

EGA has focused on technology innovation for more than 25 years and has used its own technology in every smelter expansion since the 1990s. Last year, EGA completed a major project to retrofit all its older production lines with EGA technology.

The training for Alba staff in the UAE is part of a comprehensive support package provided under the licensing agreement for EGA’s technology. In addition to manuals, drawings and training materials, EGA has also provided specialised support services on-site in Bahrain.

Alunorte agreement

Alunorte agreement

Alunorte signed two agreements representing a milestone to resume normal operations at the alumina refinery in Pará, Brazil. Alunorte has operated at 50% capacity since March.

The agreements include a technical Term of Adjusted Conduct (TAC) signed between Alunorte - Alumina do Norte do Brasil S.A, Norsk Hydro do Brasil Ltda, the Ministério Público Federal (MPF), the Pará State Ministério Público (MPPA), the State Government of Pará, represented by the Secretariat of State of Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS). In addition, a social Term of Commitment (TC) has been signed between Alunorte - Alumina do Norte do Brasil S.A and the State Government of Pará.

"This is a milestone towards resuming normal operation at Alunorte. We are fully committed to the initiatives defined in the agreements with the Government of Pará and Ministério Público, which are complementing the measures under implementation at Alunorte. This will support continued safe operations at the plant," says John Thuestad, Executive Vice President and head of Hydro's business area Bauxite & Alumina.

The TAC regulates certain technical improvements, audits, studies and payments for food cards to families living in the hydrographic area of the Murucupi River. The TC addresses additional efforts and investments related to the social development of communities in Barcarena.

Alunorte is currently subject to embargos imposed by the authorities and has been operating at 50% capacity since March. Neither of the agreements signed include provisions or establishes a timeline to resume normal operations at the refinery. However, Hydro consider the agreements as an important step towards resuming operations and preserving jobs for Alunorte, as well as Paragominas and Albras.

Internal and external reviews confirm that there was no overflow from the bauxite residue deposits or harmful spills from the February rain event.
By signing the agreements, Alunorte reaffirms its commitment to the sustainable development of Barcarena, seeking engagement and partnerships with communities, authorities, academia and civil society.

"Our commitment to local communities have been strengthened through dialogue and an open-door policy. We are committed to contributing and making a positive difference in the society we are part of and being a partner for local development," says Thuestad.

EGA: Caustic soda shipment

EGA: Caustic soda shipment

Emirates Global Aluminium has received the first shipment of caustic soda for its under-construction Al Taweelah alumina refinery. 

Caustic soda and bauxite are the two most important raw materials in alumina refining. Stocks of these materials are initially required for the carefully-planned sequential commissioning of Al Taweelah alumina refinery.  
Commissioning is the process of testing and starting-up individual pieces of equipment and sections of a new plant.

EGA began importing bauxite in June. EGA has also begun stockpiling hydrate, another raw material required to commission Al Taweelah alumina refinery.
Alumina is the feedstock for aluminium smelters. Once full ramp-up is achieved, Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to meet some 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina requirements. The UAE currently imports all the alumina it needs.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery is the first to be built in the UAE and only the second in the Middle East.

First alumina from Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected during the first half of 2019.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “Whilst construction continues in many areas of Al Taweelah alumina refinery, we are steadily moving into commissioning completed equipment and sections. Importing the first of these raw materials is an important milestone in this immense effort to develop alumina refining as a new industrial activity in the UAE.” 

More than 10,000 people are currently working on Al Taweelah alumina refinery, which has a total budgeted project cost of approximately $3.3 billion.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery covers an area equivalent to 200 football fields, and contains enough steel to build seven Eiffel Towers. The new plant contains more than 430 kilometres of piping and almost 2,500 kilometres of cabling.

There are some 450 different pumps at Al Taweelah alumina refinery, and 144 tanks that together are equivalent in volume to 128 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Once full ramp-up is achieved, Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to produce some two million tonnes of alumina per year. This will require some five million tonnes of bauxite each year, which will be imported from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa.

The plant will also require some 130,000 tonnes of caustic soda each year, which will initially be imported. 

Last year, EGA signed a long term caustic soda supply agreement with Shaheen Chem Investments LLC, which intends to build a chemicals complex near EGA’s operations in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. Once built and ramped-up, Shaheen’s plant will meet all EGA’s caustic soda needs. 

EGA, which has operated aluminium smelters in the UAE for almost 40 years, is expanding upstream in the aluminium value chain and internationally to secure the natural resources that the UAE’s aluminium industry needs and create new revenue streams.

EGA is also building a bauxite mine and associated export facilities in Guinea. First bauxite exports from the Guinea Alumina Corporation project are expected during the second half of 2019. GAC is one of the largest greenfield investments in Guinea in the last 40 years and has a total budgeted project cost of approximately $1.4 billion.

GAC’s bauxite will be exported to customers around the world.

STAS acquires technologies

STAS acquires technologies

STAS is pleased to announce the purchase of technologies from o.d.t. Engineering PTY. LTD finalised in April 2018. 

O.d.t. Engineering is an Australian company specialised in the design and supply of casting and material handling equipment and production consumables for aluminium and magnesium casthouse.

The company enjoys an enviable reputation for design innovation, efficiency and quality fabrication and is, like STAS, a family-owned company. Since the late 1980’s, STAS’s mission is to partner with its customers from the aluminium industry to help them achieve their production goals with various equipment and solutions for the casthouse as well for the electrolysis, carbon and crucible shop areas. This transaction further establishes STAS as a world class, full-stack supplier of innovative equipment for the aluminium sector and paves the way for new business opportunities to come in the world of the highly-demanded light metal. The sale and transfer of the purchased assets include the capacity, without limitation, to operate the business exclusively worldwide and brand the name od.t. Engineering, with the exception of repair and spare parts for existing equipment and repair services. For equipment sold from now on, the after-sales service of STAS is responsible.

Assets purchased include:
•Ingot casting and stacking for aluminium (ICS) and magnesium (ingot weight range between 6-25kg)
•Sow casting and stacking (SCS) for all sow ingot weight range, including mould, pouring, skimming and vacuum sow removal.

STAS will from now on engage in the marketing, sales and fabrication of new equipment related to the acquired technologies as well as any equipment upgrades with the support of key personnel for this phase of transition. 

O.d.t. Engineering also grants an exclusive and perpetual right of use of its name to STAS for the continuation and operation of the business.

For more information visit: www.stas.com

Lightweighting day

Lightweighting day

On September 20th, ALLIANCE (Affordable Lightweight Automobiles Alliance) will host the ALLIANCE Future Lightweighting Day, following the Aachen Body Engineering Days.

The ALLIANCE Future Lightweighting Day is an all-day event dedicated to materials and manufacturing innovations in the field of automotive lightweighting.

The event will include presentations from the four winners of the ALLIANCE Lightweight Open Innovation Challenge: 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).

The winners will showcase their technologies to a board of ALLIANCE OEMs and suppliers (Daimler, Opel, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen, CRF- the Research Centre of FCA, Thyssenkrupp, Novelis, Batz and Benteler).

Alliance researchers from Fraunhofer LBF, Novelis, IPEK-KIT, inspire and Opel will give insights into the recent developments within ALLIANCE, ranging from design optimisation tools to characterisation of materials, and sustainable lightweighting.

The event will also include an exhibition area where LOIC winners will exhibit their demonstrators and ALLIANCE partners will showcase posters highlighting relevant results from their ongoing research.

The Future Lightweighting Day will take place at the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika) of RWTH Aachen University. 

Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required.

Register here: https://www.ika.rwth-aachen.de/en/institute/events/upcoming-events/2800-alliance-future-lightweighting-day-2018.html

Constellium: Smart Lab

Constellium: Smart Lab

Constellium Valais and the Haute École d’Ingénierie of HES-SO Valais-Wallis have joined forces to create the first industrial and academic lab for applied research and development in Valais, Switzerland.

Digitalisation is a challenge for all manufacturing companies today. For Constellium Valais and the Haute École d’Ingénierie HES-SO Valais-Wallis, it was natural to join forces and gather competencies around digitalisation concepts to further master industrial processes. This partnership includes the creation of a “Smart Process Lab”, an applied research and development laboratory.  A joint financing approach between Constellium Valais, the Haute Ecole d’Ingenierie and tier funds is supporting this 2M CHF 5 years collaboration. Both Management teams will be closely involved in the launch of the Lab in order to move forward quickly and effectively.

Lionel Thomas, Constellium Valais Director explains: “The creation of this Smart Process Lab is a great opportunity for Constellium Valais to expand our industrial competencies in Applied Research and Development and digitalisation. The proximity of our industrial plant and the HES-SO will facilitate the implementation of the projects and therefore quickly gain in competitiveness, by accelerating the introduction of new added-value products to the market. This Lab should also help us to generate new ideas of product to broaden our horizons on other markets, and also to improve our quality and efficiency in our production processes.”

The training of future engineers is also an important part of this collaboration. Indeed, the future engineers will be involved in think tank session to address Constellium’s industrial challenges, and all the technical learnings generated by the think tank will be directly transferred in the Smart Process Lab for Constellium benefits. This partnership will foster future engineer’s employability thanks to concrete industrial learnings, thus it will provide the industry the right skills to guarantee their development. “Employability is also part of Constellium Valais strategy,” mentioned Lionel. “Staff transition is a real challenge for us in the short and long terms, and this partnership will facilitate the transfer of young and qualified engineers to the different Constellium Valais plants. A real plus for young engineers, and for Constellium Valais!”

Achenbach at a glance

Achenbach at a glance

The family company Achenbach Buschhütten will once again present itself at the ALUMINIUM 2018 show as specialist for rolling and foil slitting technology for the production of aluminium flat rolled products at the highest quality level. 

The strategic approach is to offer ‘everything from one single source’: layout, design, manufacturing, assembly, commissioning; including product lifecycle management with services and consulting. Mastering the technology in every single detail and to continuously developing the machines rank among the success factors of Achenbach.

This integrated approach is continuing with the new cloud-based platform Achenbach OPTILINK® targeted to provide the customers with an instrument for the optimisation of the entire flat rolled production process comfortable, flexible and worldwide usable and honoured in the market. 

Visit Achenbach in hall 13, booth M15

Fort William progressing

Fort William progressing

The owner of the Fort William aluminium smelter has said preparations to build a new plant producing alloy wheels for the automotive industry at the site are progressing well.

GFG Alliance was granted planning consent for the project – expected to create hundreds of new jobs – earlier this year and aims to start building work soon.

A spokesman for the multinational firm said: “We’ve erected project offices next to our aluminium smelter, with five full time project-management staff already in post and a further eight due to join the team over the coming months.

“We are undertaking site clearance work and steadily working our way through conditions attached to our planning approval, which was granted in January.”

He added: “We’re having some very encouraging conversations with vehicle manufacturers regarding market demand for the wheels we aim to make … and we’re very excited by their positive response to our plans.

“Detailed design work for the new plant is continuing and we’re benefiting greatly from the expertise of senior personnel at the alloy wheels plant we acquired recently at Chateauroux in France, who are working very closely with the UK team.”

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/ybcgo98r

Mecfor unveils AGV

Mecfor unveils AGV

Mecfor proudly unveiled one of its most innovative projects to date, the AGV TEAM: the first automated guided vehicle designed and made in North America and destined specifically for the worldwide primary aluminium production industry.

A remarkable achievement, the vehicle is able to manoeuvre in completely autonomous fashion within complex environments posing numerous challenges, such as strong magnetic fields, dust, wide temperature variations and constant interactions with workers and other equipment.

“With this technological investment, Mecfor is positioning itself for the aluminium refinery of the future while opening the door to other, similar equipment tailored for different industries in which operations are conducted in hostile environments,” said Éloise Harvey, president of Mecfor. “At the same time, we are reaffirming our position as a leader in our sector and contribute to Quebec’s position as a trailblazer in new technologies.” 

“The Quebec government is proud to have partnered with Mecfor through a financial support of $520,000 to fund the development of this new generation of automated guided transport systems. In addition to satisfying the principles of sustainable mobility, this vehicle is a concrete response to industry needs and demonstrates yet again that innovation is one of our core priorities,” said André Fortin, minister of Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports.

A major step toward the greening of aluminium plants
The automated guided vehicle (AGV) prototype is designed to carry crucibles of molten metal weighing up to 34 tonnes, but can also be used to transport various loads in harsh environments.

The innovative vehicle was created in part from a need to reduce the industry’s ecological footprint, and thus represents a first step toward the ultimate goal: to help Mecfor’s customers achieve their zero-emission objectives and offer environmentally responsible ingots.

The development and innovation behind the prototype are taking automated vehicles to a new level, rethinking not only the way the vehicles maneuver but also how operations are conducted inside aluminum plants.

“The industry is ready for this new approach to logistics and transport,” said Ms. Harvey. “Our clients want this kind of innovation; they want to work with green technologies.”

The development of AGV TEAM was supported in part by the federal government through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) of the National Research Council Canada.

At the cutting-edge
To develop the project, Mecfor collaborated with AMERDEN, a valued and world-renowned supplier with exhaustive expertise in automated guidance technology. For the electric propulsion and batteries, the team also worked with the Innovative Vehicle Institute (IVI).

The guidance and safety components were chosen after months of testing under real conditions in order to assess their impact on the different machines.

This new, cutting-edge vehicle will help reduce the ecological footprint of hundreds of plants and provide a solution to the dire shortage of qualified labour in the industry.

Danieli secures data

Danieli secures data

Danieli has announced that it will utilise cybersecurity blockchain solutions to secure data on its networks.

The move is likely to set precedent for other large corporations looking to deploy cybersecurity blockchain solutions to defend against new cyber threats.
 
Established more than one century ago, Danieli is the top three provider of equipment and plants to the metal industry worldwide, achieving revenues of €2.49bn in 2016/17 and employing 10,000 people worldwide.
 
Danieli has signed a partnership with cybersecurity start-up Naoris. Following an initial cybersecurity consultation, the companies have agreed to collaboratively implement blockchain-based cybersecurity solutions across part of Danieli’s data servers worldwide.
 
It is estimated that the cost of an average data breach exceeds €3m, rising above €300m for major breaches (where 1 million to 50 million records are lost), according to IBM. A robust cybersecurity system is therefore essential for blue chip organisations such as Danieli in order to protect significant amounts of sensitive company and client data.
 
Blockchain decentralises computer data across millions of different ‘blocks.’ The blockchain computers (or nodes) must confirm and record any change to a system, removing a single entry point for cyber criminals. In the current cybersecurity model, every device used by employees can act as a vulnerable entry point in order for a hacker to get access into the system and infiltrate the entire network.
 
Naoris has already performed a comprehensive assessment of Danieli’s data infrastructures, as part of the metal suppliers continued investment in its cybersecurity strategy. It will aim to further secure the metal supplier’s key data infrastructures.
 
Alexander Stewart, Executive Vice President ICT at Danieli, commented:

“At Danieli, we pride ourselves on the quality of our materials, processes and people, which enables us to continue delivering a world-leading service. Cybersecurity is a major part of this and we are currently investing significantly into ongoing company-wide security operations to make our company safer.
 
“We believe that Naoris’ blockchain-based solution will benefit our strategy and give us the edge in safeguarding our networks and providing unrivalled security for our clients, customers and personnel.”
 
Naoris’ cybersecurity platform, Naoris SE (Security Ecosystem), uses AI and blockchain technologies to place cyber alert results onto an immutable ledger where they become accessible and independently auditable. For a threat actor to be successful in such an environment, it would have to hit the potentially massive immutable blockchain network all at once.
 
Naoris’ model further creates a decentralized peer-to-peer format that enables a new device to learn from the behaviours of its neighbours. Naoris’ platform is agnostic to devices and operating systems and is infinitely scalable – able to accommodate countless devices. This eliminates weak central point of failures, so that while traditionally networks become weaker as more devices are connected, Naoris’ solution allows networks to become exponentially more secure and agile as they expand.
 
David Carvalho, founder and CEO of Naoris, added:

“Multi-national companies such as Danieli hold large amounts of records and sensitive data. With the sheer amount of devices on its networks and with the threat of hacking on the rise, traditional methods of cybersecurity need to evolve. Naoris SE is cryptographically agnostic to operating systems and proves subversive actions beyond doubt, creating immutable consensus on the source, timestamp and location of threats.
 
“We are pleased to support Danieli through this process. Securing this partnership is testament to the strength of our offering and we look forward in continuing to grow our relationship with Danieli.”
 
In addition, Naoris recently announced that it launched in the Middle East through its partnership with IT solutions company PROW as well as signing Hong Kong based decentralised data storage business DeNet.

Century hiring

Century hiring

According to reports, Century Aluminum in South Carolina is hiring workers again even though it is operating at half of its capacity.

The plant has resumed hiring after President Trump imposed tariffs on foreign aluminium imports.

Century president and CEO Mike Bless told analysts during a recent conference call that the tariffs are having their intended effect, allowing American industry to reinvest for long-term competitiveness.

Century this month reported a 21 percent increase in sales for the second quarter. Full-year production is expected to be up more than 60 percent over last year.

Bless said the company plans to continue operating at its current production level through the end of next year.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7wknf55

EGA: Safety incident

EGA: Safety incident

An investigation has been launched after two workers died during routine maintenance operation at Emirates Global Aluminium site in Dubai.

EGA said in a statement that its emergency response procedures were activated, and the relevant authorities in Dubai were notified and have been providing support at Jebel Ali.

The company said the men were working at an industrial furnace, which was shut down for routine maintenance and was not operational at the time.

A team of EGA specialists is currently investigating the incident to understand the factors involved, EGA added.

"EGA is offering the men’s families every possible support at this tragic time," the statement said without giving any further details about the incident.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y9eplf5z

Ardagh: Steel to Alu

Ardagh: Steel to Alu

Ardagh Group has recently completed the conversion of its Rugby (UK) beverage can manufacturing plant from steel to aluminium.

“The conversion of the Rugby plant has further enhanced Ardagh’s manufacturing footprint. Operating two highly-efficient aluminium beverage can plants in the UK, at Wrexham and Rugby, supported by our recent investment in our Deeside ends plant, positions Ardagh to offer leading beverage customers greater choice and flexibility in future,” says Oliver Graham, CEO Ardagh Metal Beverage.”

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y93f7yjl

EGA Sustainability Report

EGA Sustainability Report

Emirates Global Aluminium has launched its 2017 sustainability report detailing the organisation’s values, commitments, aspirations and achievements in environmental, social and economic performance.

EGA aspires to be measured amongst the world’s leading metals and mining companies in meeting its environmental and social responsibilities.

EGA’s sustainability report charts the company’s performance in areas including emissions, safety, technological innovation, community engagement, waste and effluent management and social responsibility. The disclosures made in the report are the outcome of a materiality analysis to identify sustainability topics that warrant the greatest levels of transparency and accountability, as well as EGA’s values and commitments.

The report focuses on 2017 performance but also incorporates data for 2014, 2015 and 2016 to illustrate trends since the formation of EGA through the merger of Dubai Aluminium and Emirates Aluminium in 2014.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “We recognise that our role must extend beyond simple compliance or keeping up with our peers. Working with our customers, regulators, shareholders and stakeholders, we intend to be an innovator and a leader in sustainability.”
EGA’s sustainability report has been prepared in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative standards, the most widely recognised framework for sustainability reporting. 

Last year, EGA became the first Middle East headquartered company to apply to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, a global programme to foster greater sustainability and transparency in the aluminium industry.
EGA aspires to become certified to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standards, which are globally-applicable standards specific to responsible production, sourcing and stewardship within the aluminium value chain.

EGA’s sustainability report includes additional disclosures specific to the requirements of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative Performance Standards.
The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative launched its Performance Standards in December 2017, enabling organisations to seek certification. 

For more information visit: https://www.ega.ae/en/responsibility/2017-perfomance/

Water in a can

Water in a can

Tesco is the first supermarket to sell water in cans rather than plastic bottles.

The retailer is now offering spring water in 500ml aluminium cans at its 700 stores under the CanO Water brand, which started two years ago in London. 

“Aluminium cans have the highest recycling rate of any product out there and a recycled can could be back on the shelf as another one in just 60 days,” says CanO Water co-founder Ariel Booker.

He hopes that his cans will rival industry giants, while their minimal design and cult social media following will attract a younger generation.

For more information visit: https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/tesco-starts-selling-water-in-a-can/

First shipment: Bel Air

First shipment: Bel Air

Alufer Mining Limited has announced that production has commenced at the Bel Air bauxite mine in Guinea and the company has achieved First Ore on Ship on schedule, on budget and with zero lost time injuries.

Surface mining started at the end of June 2018 and material was stockpiled in advance of commissioning on the 3rd August 2018. Having successfully transitioned from Construction into Operations the team will now focus on ramping up to steady state production of 5.5 million tonnes per annum.

Having raised US$205m in December 2016, the Construction Phase commenced in January 2017 and site was officially opened in February 2017 by His Excellency President Alpha Conde. Over the past 18 months, with over 4.5 million man hours worked, the Company has built its own dedicated port, ship berth, export facility and 25km long haul road as well as its own fully functional camp. Alufer recruited a full construction team peaking at over 1500 people, and an operational readiness team, with 85% of the workforce being Guinean nationals and over half from local communities.

Throughout Construction, Alufer has also committed to developing a sustainable legacy. Long lasting livelihood projects (such as food cropping and salt production) have been initiated and over 40 community projects (which included building classrooms and health centres and installing solar panels and water pumps) have been completed. As part of the Company’s social licence to operate, Alufer will continue to provide employment and development opportunities for the local workforce for the duration of the project.

Bernie Pryor, CEO, commented, “We are very proud to reach this milestone. Building a mine within such a short timeframe on a greenfield site, on time, on budget and with an exemplary safety record is a rare achievement. I would to thank all of the stakeholders in Bel Air; our shareholders for financing the project, our team and contractors on the ground for their hard work and dedication and the Government of Guinea and local communities for their ongoing support. We will now implement the ramp up and look forward to Alufer becoming a fully-fledged bauxite producer in the coming months.”

Adonis Pouroulis, Chairman, commented, “We discovered the Bel Air deposit and secured the licence back in 2010 so it is a remarkable moment to see the mine operating from pit to ship today. I would like to add my thanks and congratulations to all who have been involved in the journey to date and we look forward to the next phase of the Alufer story.”

ERG aluminium plans

ERG aluminium plans

Eurasian Resources Group has reiterated its commitment to strengthen its aluminium business with a number of new initiatives including the development of a joint venture to roll out aluminium poles, the introduction of hydropower as a means of producing “green” aluminium, and the manufacturing of 3D-printing powders.

Given current manufacturing volumes and trends, the Group envisages that it will soon be able to use all alumina produced by ERG for its own aluminium production in Kazakhstan. 

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, recently completed a tour of a number of key industrial facilities in the Pavlodar region, where ERG is a major investor and employer. Mr Nazarbayev identified technological modernisation and increased output of high value-added products as Kazakhstan’s main priorities. Accordingly, ERG announced that it is currently working on a joint venture to produce as many as 50,000 to 80,000 aluminium poles – notably in liquid form – that it will then aim to sell to other countries. Aluminium poles are used in the extrusion process, whereby the extruded aluminium profiles are then used to produce building materials and fittings.

Dr Alexander Machkevitch, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ERG, said that the Group is making significant inroads in innovative, low-emission alumina production, having successfully tested the possibility of producing 3D-printing powders from Kazakhstani alumina. He said: “Such technology enables us to obtain aluminium powders and alloys from various metals while bypassing the traditional electrometallurgical process.” 

Dr Machkevitch has also further highlighted the importance of energy independence and minimising pollution for the aluminium industry. Outlining the Group’s commitment to “greener” production, he said: “It is important that we can use hydropower which can provide sustainable aluminium with low greenhouse gas emissions.” 

For more information visit: www.eurasianresources.lu

ALFED: Update

ALFED: Update

House of Lords lunch shows rising influence of aluminium.

On the 12th July, The UK Aluminium Federation (ALFED) held its annual lunch at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Paul of Marylebone. 

It was a fruitful and honest discussion of key issues facing the industry, with lots of opportunity for members to ask questions of the parliamentarians and civil servants. And there was a bit of additional drama as the MPs hurried from the chamber with their fresh copies of the Brexit white paper – it was interesting hearing their immediate impressions.

Here are the key takeaways from the event:
• The Aluminium Federation is having a major impact on government policy – Richard Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS, as well as the BEIS civil servants and APPG parliamentarians all commented on how helpful Alfed has been as they consider policies affecting trade and industry
• Government is taking our interests to heart when it comes to trade and Brexit – and they welcome our continued input. Alfed CEO Tom Jones meets officials regularly, so let us know if there are issues you want him to raise
• The aluminium industry is making key strides when it comes to showcasing innovation – Rob Bennett from Bloodhound SSC made this clear as he discussed the valuable contribution aluminium is making to efforts to break the land speed record
• We need to think long-term about talent issues – the Bloodhound SSC/ALFED combined project is part of this, and if you’d like to sponsor the schools-based activity (and build your business profile), contact Kathy Romback at k_romback@alfed.org.uk

The next big event is the Annual Dinner and Member’s Briefing on Thursday 20th September. One of the highlights of the industry calendar, it’s being held this year at the prestigious Tortworth Court Hotel, a Grade II-listed Victorian mansion in South Gloucestershire.

To book your tickets for the dinner and to take advantage of our pre-reserved hotel rooms, please contact Ann Gough at a_gough@alfed.org.uk or on 0121 601 6365.

Rio Tinto: ASI certified

Rio Tinto: ASI certified

The certification means Rio Tinto will be the only company selling aluminium that customers can be assured has been produced to the highest environmental, social and governance standards, placing Rio Tinto at a competitive advantage.

The certification reinforces Rio Tinto’s commitment to responsible mining and metals production by providing independent verification that material can be traced through a ‘chain of custody’ spanning Rio Tinto’s Gove bauxite mine in Australia to its alumina refinery, aluminium smelters and casthouses in Quebec, Canada.

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said “Achieving this certification demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to the highest international production standards and offers customers the ability to provide end consumers with the confidence that the aluminium in their products has been responsibly produced.

“Aluminium has a key role to play 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.”
Rio Tinto has led the establishment of responsible production certification for the aluminium industry as a founding member of the ASI, working alongside customers and a broad range of stakeholders.

Rio Tinto Aluminium vice president sales and marketing and ASI Board member Tolga Egrilmezer said: “We see certified sustainable aluminium as a point of differentiation for Rio Tinto as customers become increasingly interested in ensuring that metals have been responsibly produced. The ASI certification will enable us to generate value for Rio Tinto and our customers because we believe there will be a fundamental shift in demand for these products.”


ASI chief executive officer Fiona Solomon said “We applaud Rio Tinto for their commitment to ASI’s mission since joining as a founding member, and for being the first to achieve ASI certification for both ASI Standards. This successful Chain of Custody certification demonstrates ASI’s potential to create impact through voluntary uptake of its program. We look forward to the positive example being set by upstream producers, like Rio Tinto, extending into downstream aluminium use sectors such as automotive, construction and packaging.”

For more information visit: https://www.riotinto.com/media/media-releases-237_25928.aspx

Novelis to acquire Aleris

Novelis to acquire Aleris

Novelis has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aleris Corporation, a global supplier of rolled aluminium products.

“Acquiring Aleris is the right opportunity at the right time as they are set for transformational growth. The significant investments they’ve made in the high-demand, high-value aerospace and automotive segments have resulted in favorable long-term, global contracts. These investments, coupled with a diverse and talented workforce, will add tremendous value to our organization and allow us to deliver the highest quality innovative aluminum solutions to our customers," says Steve Fisher, President and CEO, Novelis Inc.

http://novelis.com/acquisition/

The future of mining

The future of mining

The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) and GE today signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding to explore opportunities to deploy GE’s industry leading digital solutions across Ma’aden’s diverse mining operations, including sites focused on gold, copper, aluminium, and phosphate. 

GE will provide Ma’aden with digital transformation advisory and applications, as well as leadership and training opportunities for Ma’aden’s employees across the Kingdom.

To maintain its world leading competitive position across a number of commodities, Ma’aden is pursuing a number of partnerships in order to capture the opportunities found in digitisation and innovation, and will invest in the application of pioneering technologies in its operations in the Kingdom in order to remain ahead of the competition and reinforce the company as a global mining leader. GE’s digital mining solutions will look at specific areas within Ma’aden including solutions that make adaptations for improving ore grades; reduce fuel and energy costs and usage; improve equipment reliability and availability; reduce maintenance costs; and increase productivity and efficiency across operations.

Darren Davis, Ma’aden Acting president & CEO, said of the partnership, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has high aspirations for the deployment of new technology and the digitisation of industrial landscape in the country. Ma’aden is committed to championing the responsible development of the mining sector as a major pillar of the Saudi economy and digitalisation, as part of the fourth industrial revolution, will be key to ensuring we achieve our goal of becoming a ‘sustainable mining champion’. This initiative will unlock the next wave of significant value creation and increase our competitiveness and sustainability. Our partnership with GE is an important step and we look forward to working together to develop and utilise new digital solutions for our industry.”

Bill Ruh, President & CEO, GE Digital continued, saying, “We are partnering with organisations across heavy industries around the world to bring digital solutions to their operations. The scale and impact of organisations such as Ma’aden is enormous, and we know that the optimisation and increases in efficiency will have a major impact on the company and the country. By working together to develop solutions that are tailored for the sector and environment in which they will operate, we can ensure truly positive outcomes.”

For more information visit: https://www.maaden.com.sa/en/news_details/408

RUF acquires C.F. Nielsen

RUF acquires C.F. Nielsen

RUF Briquetting Systems, Zaisertshofen, has taken over C.F. Nielsen A/S, Baelum (Denmark).

This means that in future the complete spectrum of briquetting technology will be available from one source.  

As a world market leader in hydraulic briquetting presses, RUF has successfully installed its systems in more than 100 countries. An important factor in this is that the family-owned business has an especially wide range of applications and services. Whether it be metal, wood, biomass or other residues, high throughput performances can always be achieved with RUF briquetting presses – from 20 kg/h to 4,800 kg/h, depending on the material.
      
By taking over C.F. Nielsen, RUF is expanding its offer with two important technologies in this industry – the mechanical briquetting and the compression with Extruder, also known as Shimada technology. For Roland Ruf, director at RUF, this is an addition, which is complementary in several ways: “We are both family businesses with a very similar philosophy and method of operating. This means we attach great importance to being innovative through our content employees and presenting ourselves as reliable partners on the market. With this in mind, we will together drive new advances for our customers forward and make use of synergy effects.”  
 
As a worldwide leading supplier of mechanical briquetting presses, C.F. Nielsen has been developing, producing and selling its high-grade systems since the 1940ies. The throughput capacity lies between 200 kg/h and 3,500 kg/h and the main application areas are the wood and biogenic material processing industries. Recently, the company expanded its product portfolio with the Shimada briquetting technique. These extrusion briquetting machines press highly compacted briquettes using a screw.

The previous owners, Mogens S. Knudsen and Henning M. Larsen, mention the lack of a successor and the resulting insecurity for the future of the company as the reason for selling their company. This is why, in the beginning of 2018, the Danish entrepreneurs started looking for a fitting buyer with similar values as them, who ensures the jobs of their employees. “In RUF we have found the right family business”, says Mogens S. Knudsen.

Photo: From left to right: Roland Ruf and Wolfgang Ruf, co-owners and managing directors of RUF briquetting systems, signed the acquisition agreement along with Mogens S. Knudsen und Henning M. Larsen, the previous owners of C.F. Nielsen. All of them are happy about the fact that two companies, which share the same philosophy and values, are under one roof now. 

Rio Tinto Chicago Office

Rio Tinto Chicago Office

Rio Tinto has marked a key milestone in the company’s operations in the United States with the opening of a new commercial office in Chicago, Illinois.  

Chicago has long been one of the world’s historic commodity hubs. The new Rio Tinto office will allow for expanded engagement and provide opportunities for partnerships with new and existing customers. Around 70 roles will be centralised into the new office. 

Chief commercial officer Simon Trott said, “The US is one of the largest markets globally for Rio Tinto’s products. Opening a commercial office in Chicago strategically locates our US sales and marketing activities closer to our existing and future customers. It also gives Rio Tinto access to the US talent pool and ensures the company responds and adapts to market changes, allowing us to better respond to customer needs.”

“Rio Tinto’s operations have supplied essential materials to US customers for over 100 years and the company is committed to continuing to partner and deepen our relationship with them.”

EGA: Auto certified

EGA: Auto certified

Emirates Global Aluminium has received its certification to IATF 16949:2016, the latest global standard established by the automotive industry which aims to ensure even more rigorous quality management in the global automotive supply chain. 

EGA has supplied aluminium to the automotive industry for decades and was one of only a few primary aluminium producers certified to ISO/TS 16949, the previous quality management standard for the automotive industry’s supply chain which was originally created in 1999 and was most recently revised in 2009.

Like the standard it replaces, IATF 16949:2016 was developed by the International Automotive Task Force, a grouping of automotive trade associations and many of the world’s leading automotive groups including BMW Group, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen.

Abdulla Kalban, EGA’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Through our customers in the automotive supply chain, our aluminium is ultimately used in cars and other vehicles people drive all over the world. Drivers expect their vehicles to be safe, high quality, and made responsibly. As a major supplier of metal to the automotive industry, we welcomed the development of this new standard which aims to ensure quality throughout the supply chain and we are pleased that EGA is now certified.”

The automotive industry is the second largest end-user of EGA’s aluminium after construction.

IATF 16949:2016 aims to prevent defects and reduce losses throughout the automotive supply chain. It stipulates continuous improvement, emphasises defect prevention, and promotes reduction of waste in the entire supply chain of the automotive industry. The new standard also imposes specific requirements for safety-related parts and processes.

Arconic/Boeing contract

Arconic/Boeing contract

Arconic has signed a new long-term contract with Boeing (NYSE: BA) to supply aluminium sheet and plate for all models produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The multiyear contract, which extends and adds to the companies’ 2014 contract, is the largest to date and captures growth in the build rate increases of the Boeing 737 program.

“This agreement demonstrates Arconic’s commitment to deliver quality and innovation to our customers,” said Tim Myers, President of Arconic Global Rolled Products and Transportation and Construction Solutions. “We’re proud of our more than 40 years of collaboration with Boeing, and we look forward to playing a role in their continued success.”

The new agreement builds on Arconic’s collaboration with Boeing for wing skins on all of its metallic structure airplanes and includes polished fuselage skins and wing ribs. In addition, Boeing awarded Arconic new business for the supply of structural plate used on a variety of other applications, including wing ribs for carbon fibre platforms such as the 787 and 777X.

The deal draws on material produced by Arconic’s Very Thick Plate Stretcher (VTPS), which began commercial production last year and is capable of stretching the thickest aluminium plate in the world, used to support composite wings. Combined with its new horizontal heat treat furnace, which is expected to begin qualifications in 2019, Arconic is able to offer expanded capabilities and capacity in thick plate products. One of the challenges composite wing makers face as the wings get larger is maintaining their structural strength and stiffness. Aluminium plate from Arconic’s stretcher enables aircraft manufacturers to address that issue. As a result, demand for thick aluminium plate is growing, particularly as larger composite wings, made with monolithic thick plate wing ribs, increases.

Under this agreement, the companies will also continue to collaborate on new, high-strength and corrosion-resistant alloys, including aluminium-lithium that could be used for complex structural applications.

Arconic’s aerospace business, which had revenues totalling more than $5 billion in 2017, holds leading market positions in aerospace sheet and plate produced by its Global Rolled Products (GRP) business and in aerospace forgings, extrusions, jet engine airfoils, structural castings and fastening systems produced by its Engineered Products and Solutions (EP&S) business.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/yba4g3at

Swiss tariff action

Swiss tariff action

Switzerland has launched a complaint at the World Trade Organisation against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium, it said on Tuesday, the eighth WTO member to start such a challenge.

Under WTO rules, the United States has 60 days to settle the issue. After that time, Switzerland could escalate the dispute by asking the WTO to set up a panel of judges to adjudicate.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y8oeu3fl

POAL world first

POAL world first

In September 2018 AMUT will be the world’s first facility for POAL recycling, a polyethylene + aluminium polycomposite recovered from food packaging, operating to produce Ecoallene.

Ecoallene, a new green material whose main feature is to be ever recyclable, is easy to colour and contains some aluminium particles that make it slightly glittered.

AMUT, has developed this pioneering project together with the Italian start-up Ecoplasteam, carrying out both technology for POAL treatment and washing the extrusion line to turning the final material into pellets.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y9b3bqz5

Aluminium China update

Aluminium China update

Aluminium China 2018 showcases Asia’s thriving aluminium industry despite heavy US tariffs.

In the face of the US tariff storm, the Aluminium China 2018 exhibition and conference in Shanghai from July 11 to 13, will provide China’s aluminium industry with its first global platform since the announcement to expand business into other world markets. In particular, the event, which will bring together some 500 exhibitors and 24,000 visitors from more than 30 countries and regions, will reinforce China’s connections the rest of Asia and strengthen business cooperation to drive further growth and development of the aluminium industry. 

It was in March that US president Donald Trump approved the ‘safeguard’ duties of 10% on certain aluminium products, which have huge implications for China’s aluminium industry. At the Asia Summit at Aluminium China 2018, representatives from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) will deliver their responses to the tariffs and plans to mitigate their impact. Meanwhile, at the Guest Country of Honour- Thailand Day Forum, speakers from the Thailand Department of Foreign Trade and Ministry of Commerce will also present the Thai Government’s response to Donald Trump’s new tariff policy. Furthermore, professionals from the Thailand Aluminium Association, industrial parks and enterprises will share an overview of trade relations between Thailand and China, including investment policies, laws and regulations and explore new business opportunities.

With a growing focus on the global aluminium industry, this year’s 14th Aluminium China will put the spotlight on innovations and breakthroughs in green technologies as well as on the latest industry trends, technologies, emerging markets and major new applications.

With international attention on energy conservation and environmental protection, this year’s event will be supporting the China Non-ferrous Metals Industry Association to launch the Forum on Energy Conservation, Environmental Protection and Technology Development of the Aluminium Processing Industry. The forum will focus on energy conservation, environmental protection and clean transformation, helping to map out a green, healthy and long-term development plan.
World demand for aluminium products is increasingly strong in sectors such as automotive, architecture, transportation, electric power, electronics, household appliances and machinery and equipment. As the automotive industry is a core market for aluminium applications, the show will feature an Automotive Day to include the Asia Lightweight Automotive Summit, which will incorporate sessions on the Application of Metal Materials and Manufacturing Technology in Lightweight New Energy Vehicles, Lightweight Commercial Logistics Vehicles in China. 

Leading international auto manufacturers, spare parts system suppliers and material suppliers will also be launching new technologies, processes and lightweight vehicle developments. 
Besides, aluminium demand for consumer electronics, household appliances as well as other main application industries, will also be highlighted at the themed onsite conferences.
 
“This year, the exhibition is further enhanced with new forums and special showcases on aluminium downstream, such as aluminium packaging, lightweight automobiles and aluminium lifestyle zone,” said Kelly Li, Project Manager of Aluminium China. "Aluminium China not only provides a rich experience for visitors from across the whole aluminium industry, but also opens up new opportunities for businesses and connections with the world.” 

To pre-register and for more information, please visit the official website of Aluminium China: www.aluminiumchina.com

Alba: Casthouse 3 update

Alba: Casthouse 3 update

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), the Bahrain-based international aluminium smelter, has recently commissioned a Batch homogenizer from Hertwich Engineering (a company of the SMS group) in Casthouse 3 for specialised billet requirements.
 
This new generation Batch homogenizer is the best-suited technology for the heat treatment of various 6xxx, 1xxx and 3xxx billet alloys for special applications such as automotive and precision tubing. The advanced technology of reverse air circulation, fully automated controls for step heating and controlled cooling enhances the existing capabilities of Alba’s Casthouse 3 to achieve outstanding metallurgical aspects in its products as well as improved productivity of billets.
 
Commenting on this occasion, Alba’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Murray said: “We are pleased to partner, once again, with Hertwich with whom Alba shares a long-standing relation spanning over two decades. The commissioning of the new Batch homogenizer underlines our commitment to sustainability and higher product quality whilst meeting the customers’ demands in the worldwide automotive segments especially as we secured the IATF 16949:2016 Automotive Quality Certification.”
 
It is noteworthy that Alba Casthouse 3 Batch Homogenizing Extension Project - which took place from February 2017 to May 2018 - achieved 120,000 hours without any Lost Time Injury.

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

Hydro: Power contract

Hydro: Power contract

Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro ASA’s wholly-owned subsidiary Hydro Energi AS has signed a long-term power contract with Tonstad Vindpark AS.

Tonstad Vindpark AS is owned by Engie, a French power utility company, and SUSI Partners, a Swiss Investment Manager specialising in sustainable energy infrastructure.

The contract spans for 25 years, for the period 2020 to 2045. Hydro Energi AS will purchase 100% of the actual output of the wind farm and will handle all balancing and nomination from the commissioning of the wind farm and for the duration of the power purchase contract.

Tonstad Vindpark AS is a planned onshore wind farm in Sirdal and Flekkefjord in southern Norway (NO2) with an installed capacity of 208 MW and an estimated average production of 0.7 TWh annually.

The contract will contribute to supplying power to Hydro’s aluminium plants in Norway.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y8x7uxx6

Future Aluminium Board

Future Aluminium Board

The organisers of the Future Aluminium Forum, Quartz Business Media, have established an Advisory Board to develop a strategic approach towards integrating Industry 4.0 across the aluminium manufacturing and processing sectors.

The first Future Aluminium Forum was held on 8th & 9th May 2018 in Milan, Italy and saw more than 150 delegates from across the aluminium manufacturing and processing industries gather to hear from technical experts and uncover the myths behind Industry 4.0 and what this means for the manufacturing value chain.
 
One of the most important points raised at this inaugural event was the industry needs to work together in order to streamline efficiency and create an environment open to innovation.

The Future Aluminium Forum Advisory Board is made up of experts and familiar faces from across the sector, who are on hand to offer knowledge on areas for development and discuss how the industry can work together as we enter the digital manufacturing age.

You can view the members of the Board online and there is also an option to ask them a direct question if you would like to know more about how Industry 4.0 is impacting aluminium manufacturing and processing. 

For more information visit: https://futurealuminiumforum.com/the-advisory-board

Karmøy in full production

Karmøy in full production

All 60 electrolysis cells are now in operation at the Karmøy technology pilot, where Hydro aims to industrialise the world's most climate and energy efficient aluminium electrolysis technology.

"Our aim is to be the global leader in technology and innovation in our industry, and the Karmøy pilot helps advance that ambition and ensures that the Norwegian technology cluster remains the global leader in sustainable aluminium production" says Hydro president and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

The technology that is being tested at Karmøy will have the lowest CO2 footprint and will use 15% less energy during production compared to the world average in aluminium production.

The technology consists of 48 cells with 12.3 kWh/Kg HAL4e technology and 12 cells with 11.5-11.8 kWh/kg HAL4e Ultra technology. This is well under the world average of 14.1 kWh/kg aluminium and Hydro's own average of 13.8 kWh/kg aluminium.

The first cell was started in January, while the last one was started Tuesday this week. During the start-up, Hydro has gradually increased the aluminium production in the pilot, tuning in all the equipment supporting the cells, handling the high magnetic fields and delivering on a new level of operational precision.

 "The safe and successful start-up of the technology plant is a great achievement for the organization, and very promising for the next phase - running the pilot at full-scale to verify this technology," says Hilde Merete Aasheim, who heads the Primary Metal business area in Hydro.

Several of the elements from the technology can be used in existing plants to lower energy consumption and improve productivity. Technology spin-offs to existing production lines in Hydro will contribute to Hydro's capacity creep ambition of an additional 200,000 tonnes per year by 2025 vs 2015.

The total capital expenditures for the technology pilot is NOK 4.3 billion, supported by a contribution of close to NOK 1.6 billion from Enova, a Norwegian public enterprise which supports new energy and climate-related technology. Innovation Norway provided NOK 22.5 million in the early development of the pilot. 

For more information visit: https://www.hydro.com/en/press-room/Archive/2018/hydros-technology-pilot-at-karmoy-in-full-production/

Wenatchee Smelter update

Wenatchee Smelter update

Alcoa has announced that it will make a $62.4 million payment under an electricity supply agreement for its smelter in Wenatchee, Washington, and will permanently close one of four potlines at the fully curtailed facility.

In connection with the planned payment on June 19, 2018, and the closure of the one potline, the Company will record an estimated charge of $73 million (pre- and after-tax), or $0.39 per share, in the second quarter of 2018.

The payment to the Chelan Public Utility District (Chelan PUD) was triggered by a recent decision of Alcoa management to not restart the Wenatchee smelter within the term provided in the amended electricity supply agreement. Under the agreement, which expires on October 31, 2028, Alcoa receives 26 percent of the electric generation from two Chelan PUD hydropower projects for the Wenatchee smelter.

During the smelter’s curtailment, Chelan PUD sells unused power on Alcoa’s behalf, and the proceeds are applied toward Alcoa’s costs under the agreement. Other than these monthly power transactions, there are no other required payments.

The potline planned for closure, Line 3 (capacity of 38,000 metric tons per year), has not operated since 2001, and the investments needed to restart that line are cost prohibitive. Three other lines at the Wenatchee site, with 146,000 metric tons per year, have been curtailed since December 2015. Another line at the Wenatchee site was permanently closed in 2004.

The closed portions at the Wenatchee site will be evaluated for potential redevelopment, which will not affect the status of the three remaining curtailed potlines.

For more information visit: http://tinyurl.com/y7xm54ol

Rio renews contract

Rio renews contract

Rio Tinto has renewed a long term agreement with Scepter, an internationally recognised leader in aluminium dross and scrap recycling, for the treatment of by-product from the aluminium smelting process known as “skims”, in the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region, Quebec, Canada.

Rio Tinto Aluminium managing director Atlantic Operations Gervais Jacques said: “This partnership demonstrates our commitment to responsible production and to realising the full environmental benefits from aluminium as a recyclable material. Instead of going to landfill, the by-product from our smelting processes is being recycled and used by Scepter to deliver specialised materials, a win-win outcome. The technology that makes this possible was pioneered by Rio Tinto’s Research and Development Centre here in Saguenay, Quebec.”

The companies have been working together since 2002 and this new agreement extends the partnership for another ten years. Scepter will invest approximately three million dollars to further improve the efficiency of their recycling process.

Scepter president and CEO, Garney B. Scott said: “This multimillion dollar investment represents a long-term commitment for Scepter to serve Rio Tinto, while simultaneously growing and securing the jobs we provide in Saguenay. Our company will continue to strive and invest in sustainable solutions like environmentally friendly dross processing that can recycle residual sub products.”

The skimming process used by Scepter is entirely free of CO2 emissions, in line with Rio Tinto’s commitment to producing some of the highest quality, lowest carbon footprint aluminium in the world.

The treatment of aluminium skims is executed by a unique electric plasma arc process and allows Scepter to recycle an average of 60% of the aluminium from the skims. The second product generated by the treatment process is upgraded into Noval, used in cement manufacturing and calcium aluminate productions for steel mill use.

For more information visit: http://www.riotinto.com/media/media-releases-237_25708.aspx

EGA to supply Aludium

EGA to supply Aludium

Emirates Global Aluminium has signed a five-year agreement to supply Aludium with rolling slab.

Aludium owns three former Alcoa rolling mills in Spain and France. EGA has supplied Aludium with metal since 2017.

Rolling slab is processed into plate, sheet and foil products which are used in industries from automotive to printing and packaging.

The agreement was signed at EGA’s Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi by EGA’s Chief Marketing Officer Walid Al Attar and Aludium’s Chief Executive Officer, Arnaud De Weert.

Walid Al Attar, Chief Marketing Officer of EGA, said: “We are pleased that Aludium has chosen to secure these long-term supplies of rolling slab from EGA. We look forward to reliably supplying Aludium with the high-quality rolling slab they need to make their products over the years to come.” 

Arnaud De Weert, Chief Executive Officer of Aludium, said: “We are pleased to have secured a multi-year agreement for high-quality rolling slabs. Aludium will be working with a smelter which has a secure and long-term energy and raw material base, and which is committed to the highest standards of quality.”

EGA has the capacity to produce some 400,000 tonnes of rolling slab per year at its Al Taweelah site in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi. EGA produced 2.6 million tonnes of aluminium last year and was the world’s biggest producer of ‘premium aluminium’ or value-added products.

World Cup cans

World Cup cans

As the share of lager in a can continues to grow each year, and with the World Cup representing one of the largest global football tournaments, Ball has worked with the team at Ožujsko to create an exceptional design to give customers the opportunity to toast the key sporting occasion in style. 

The cans are a prime example of the incomparable printing potential of Ball’s Dynamark™ variable technology, which allows customers to add graphic variety of up to 12 different visuals to their cans, without the added time or production difficulties once associated with the technique. For Ožujsko, Dynmark™ printing gives the cans a point of difference on shelf whilst utilising football as a key pillar of inspiration.

As a sponsor of the National Football Federation, Ožujsko, one of the best-selling lager brands on the Croatian market, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its partnership. The new design uses the 500-centiliter can’s 360-degree canvas to depict key sporting moments and is now being sold in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. From the very beginning, Ožujsko was recognised among beer lovers as a beer for celebrations and as an integral part of the social life for the people of Zagreb.

Ivan Suvar, marketing and consumer excellence director for Ožujsko comments: “Ball was quick to demonstrate its expertise in printing, whilst advising on the best print performance for our cans, to bring our vision to life. This year marks a very important milestone for Ozujsko, which sees us celebrating our 20th anniversary of sponsoring the National Football Federation this year. Therefore, we wanted to do something special to mark the achievement, we are delighted with the result."

RUSAL shipping bauxite

RUSAL shipping bauxite

UC RUSAL has announced the completion of the first stage of development of the Dian-Dian bauxite deposit in Guinea and the commencement of ore export shipments.
 
During this first stage, RUSAL has commissioned a mine with an annual capacity of 3 million tonnes of bauxite and has built the entire associated infrastructure to serve the mine (in particular, roads and a railway line) for the transportation and storage of ore. The opening ceremony was attended by the President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, the Russian Ambassador to Guinea, Alexander Bregadze, as well as the management of RUSAL.
 
“For the last fifteen years RUSAL has remained one of the largest investors in the economy of Guinea. The mutually beneficial nature of our cooperation with the Government of Guinea, within the framework of the Dian-Dian project, continues to contribute to improving the investment climate in this West African country. The commissioning of the bauxite mine means not only the creation of new jobs and increased employment for the local population, but also new opportunities for the development of the economy of Guinea, "said Yakov Itskov, Director of the Alumina Division at UC RUSAL.
 
RUSAL owns the development rights for Dian-Dian, which is the world's largest bauxite deposit with proven reserves of 564 million tonnes.  In 2015, within the framework of the investment project, RUSAL signed a multilateral agreement covering the use of the existing railway infrastructure in the province of Boké, where the Dian-Dian mine is located.This was the first such agreement between RUSAL and the Government of Guinea, with the aim of fostering a spirit of collaboration between business and the state in order to achieve the full industrial and socio-economic potential of the country.
 
RUSAL has been operating in the Republic of Guinea since 2001, and is one of the largest foreign investors in the country. In Guinea, RUSAL owns and operates the Compagnie des Bauxites de Kindia (CBK) as well as the Friguia alumina refinery complex.

New metals centre

New metals centre

The car makers and aerospace manufacturers in the UK, and worldwide, are set to benefit from revolutionary new metal processing and casting techniques with the opening of the Advanced Metal Processing Centre at Brunel University London.
 
The new centre provides a massive boost for manufacturers to work with Brunel on large-scale research and development activity, enabling innovations – such as novel structures for lightweight car parts – to make the leap from the lab to full-scale industrial trials.
 
The AMPC, which was officially opened at the Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST) on 13 June, is funded by £15 million from the UK government, providing the equipment and infrastructure to attract industrial match funding through people and resources from partners such as Constellium and Jaguar Land Rover. This will help to develop the future generation of engineers, designers, scientists and materials specialists, and to accelerate automotive lightweighting through the deployment of world-leading, high-performance aluminium alloys and innovative technologies.
 
The AMPC’s 1,500 square metres of working space, in a bespoke building on Brunel's campus in Uxbridge, is the second phase of BCAST's scale-up facility, following on from 2016's launch of the Advanced Metal Casting Centre (AMCC).
 
Professor Zhongyun Fan, Director of BCAST, said: "The AMPC is a hugely important investment for both BCAST and for our current and future research partners.
 
"BCAST's long-term aim is to reduce the amount of new metal mined from the ground to a minimum. So it is essential that we continue to be able to find even better ways of creating high-quality components and systems from metals that have already been used at least once."
 
"The additional world-class metals processing capabilities we will be unveiling will ensure that BCAST can help power innovations for manufacturers in the UK and worldwide."
 
The industrial and pilot-scale metal processing equipment enables:
 
· processing and fabrication of extruded metals, such as novel bending processes, machining and advanced joining techniques
· further casting processes, such as gravity die casting and sand casting, adding to those available in the AMCC
· supporting materials characterisation, such as for testing strength and fatigue, and including 3D x-ray tomography.
 
A key feature of the AMPC and AMCC is that BCAST’s researchers and seconded engineers from its partners will work side by side.
 
At the same event, Constellium announced the expansion of its research and development capability at Brunel. After establishing a University Technology Centre in 2016, Constellium is dedicating an R&D Centre within the campus to transition technology from the laboratory to its production facilities around the world.
 
Paul Warton, President of Constellium’s Automotive Structures and Industry business unit, commented: “The automotive industry is advancing technology at an unprecedented pace, and the AMPC is a tremendous resource for automakers, allowing rapid prototyping with state-of-the art forming and joining techniques to help shape lightweight, high-strength components for the next generation of vehicles.
 
“Constellium is thrilled to be expanding its presence at Brunel University London and to be at the forefront of development for aluminium automotive structural components.”
 
Warton spoke warmly about the international projects Constellium had already delivered stemming from work with BCAST, including one for Tesla: “The Model 3 is supplied with the front and rear crash management systems from Constellium that we developed with ultra-high-strength alloys here in Brunel.”
 
Other speakers at the event, chaired by Dr Mark White, former Jaguar Land Rover Technical Specialist on Light Weight Vehicle Structures, included Lawrence Davies, Chief Adviser to the Automotive Team at the Department for International Trade; Alice Frost, Head of Knowledge Exchange at Research England; Andrew Barlow, Evoque Programme Manager at Jaguar Land Rover; and Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Brunel’s Vice-Chancellor and President.
 
“The AMPC represents the next major step in establishing a light metals research park in the south-east corner of our campus,” said Prof Buckingham, “and this cluster of facilities has already created an unrivalled research zone in Europe of the type of research we're doing.”
 
Prof Buckingham also read out a message from Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge & South Ruislip, who spoke of his pride in having such research and facilities in his constituency: “This work presents the chance to join with key partners, including Jaguar Land Rover and Constellium, to make a major contribution to rebalancing the UK economy from here in Uxbridge.”

Can recycling at 74%

Can recycling at 74%

The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland increased by 0.7% to a new record level of 73.6% in 2015.

This is well above the recently approved new EU 2025 recycling target of 65% for all packaging.

On the whole European continent (including other East-European countries, Russia and Turkey) more than 32 billion cans have been recycled. This means that every second at least 1000 aluminium beverage cans are 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. This means that due to can recycling only we save about 3.6 million tons of GHG emissions annually, the equivalent of the annual emissions of a mid-sized European town like Bristol, Bologna or Brno1.

Aluminium beverage cans contribute to a large extent to the overall estimated recycling result of 65% for all aluminium packaging. However, as this result is not yet fully based on the future EU measurement point after the final sorting phase, European Aluminium calls upon the Member States to make an extra effort to collect, sort and recycle more drink cans and other aluminium packaging items within the coming years.

Andy Doran, chairman of the European Aluminium Packaging Group supports an even more ambitious voluntary 75% target for aluminium packaging and said in this respect: "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".

He also pointed at the need to work together on addressing the recycling of so called ‘out-of-home’ beverage cans consumed at the workplace, at festivals or other outdoor events: "Packaging recovery organisations should embrace our successful awareness programme with the can manufacturers, Every Can Counts, and help us to convince the European citizens to the do the right thing, which is to collect and recycle their used cans wherever they are".

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.