Rolled products producer Aleris Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Zhongwang USA LLC, a company that is majority-owned and led by Liu Zhongtian, the founder of China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd. The aggregate value of Aleris amounts to USD2.33 billion, comprising USD1.11 billion in cash for the equity to be paid by Zhongwang USA, plus USD1.22 billion in net debt.
Each year the Alufoil Trophy competition offers the opportunity for companies to showcase the very best and latest aluminium foil and closure applications and ideas. EAFA, the European Aluminium Foil Association, has announced that entries for the 2017 competition are now open and will be accepted until 18 November 2016. A particular benefit for 2017 winners is that their products will be presented on the Association’s stand at interpack, the world’s largest packaging exhibition, in Düsseldorf, Germany, next May.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a USD55m loan to flat-rolled products producer Assan Aluminium. The loan is aimed to support the company’s modernization, boost energy efficiency and spur growth. IFC’s investment will help Assan, one of Turkey’s biggest exporters with a 70% export rate, to refinance a recently acquired scrap recycling plant, modernize two existing furnaces and install five new furnaces, as well as improve overall plant maintenance and energy efficiency. The measures are to reduce energy and water consumption and improve the company’s international competitiveness.
IFC has supported Assan’s growth since 1994 by extending USD220m in senior loans and syndicated long-term financing.
The US Bankruptcy Court has approved Gränges’ acquisition of Noranda Aluminum Holding Corporation’s downstream aluminium rolling business in the United States. When completed the transaction will double Gränges sales volume and strengthen its position in North America. Further, Gränges will add a number of strategic and attractive market segments in rolled aluminium. The transaction is expected to close on 22 August, 2016.
Aluminium producer UC Rusal for the first time produced scandium oxide of the concentration exceeding 99%. The market price of the new product is up to USD2,000/kg. The new product output commenced at the Urals aluminium smelter (UAZ) after the installation and launch of the pilot unit for the processing of scandium concentrate into scandium oxide. Experts at Rusal Engineering and Technology Centre earlier developed the unique carbonization technology for scandium extraction from the red mud, and this technology makes no negative effect on alumina production. Productivity of the pilot unit has made 96 kg of scandium per year and the project investment has totalled about 64 million roubles (USD1m). At present there is work in progress on the pilot unit aiming to further improve the technology to reduce the product costs.
A research team from the UK has won the 2016 Charles Hatchett Award. The award-winning research, from Brunel University London, has considerable potential for commercial application in aluminium cast products in the automotive industry. The use of niobium as a grain refiner in cast aluminium alloys allows the manufacture of lighter aluminium parts, contributing to lowering the overall weight of vehicles, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
SmartActive is a new, durable surface coating for aluminium window systems and handles from Schüco. The purely metallic microsilver used for this is nano-free and cannot penetrate human skin. What is achieved is long-lasting antimicrobial protection for frames and handles, which is sought-after as an active shield, particularly in hospitals, nursing homes and public buildings.
Alro SA, a large aluminium producer in Europe, has been selected as a provider for aluminium flat rolled products by aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The agreement is for a multi-year period, starting 2017. “This opportunity is yet another confirmation that the significant investments we made in upgrading our production facilities and extending our portfolio were successful,” said Alro CEO Gheorghe Dobra. Alro holds the Nadcap (National Aerospace and Defence Contractor Accreditation Programme) certification for conformity with aerospace industry requirements. The certificate was awarded by the Nadcap Management Council, in accordance with SAE Aerospace Standard AS 7003, following the testing of aluminium alloys produced at Slatina for heat treatment, conductivity measurement, tensile testing, hardness and metallography.
According to a new market report published by IndexBox Marketing, total imports of aluminium bars, rods and profiles within the European Union increased steadily over the last three years, amounting to 6,064 million euros in 2015. Data concerning the EU trade with non-EU countries shows that the EU remains a net importer of these products.
German SMS group GmbH and Paul Wurth S.A. of Luxembourg, in which SMS group holds an interest of about 60% percent, are merging their subsidiary companies SMS Logistiksysteme GmbH and CTI Systems S.A. to form a joint enterprise. The objective of the new company is further expansion of business in the areas of intralogistics, aviation and surface treatment.
SMS Logistiksysteme, based at Netphen in Germany’s Siegerland, has been creating individual logistics and service solutions for the steel and non-ferrous metal industries for over 60 years and is amongst the world’s leading providers in this market. Since 2013, the firm has also offered customer-specific storage, transport and handling systems for air cargo terminals under the new brand name Acunis.
CTI Systems has been a leading supplier of tailor-made turnkey systems in the areas of intralogistics and surface treatment and especially of aviation for over 50 years. At its company headquarters at Lentzweiler in Northern Luxembourg it generates innovative concepts for customers from all over the world.
Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. (KPEX) has broken ground on its production facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA, officially marking the start of construction. A subsidiary of Kobe Steel, Ltd., KPEX will manufacture and sell aluminium bumper beam material and car frame material for the automotive industry in the United States. The total investment in the plant amounts to USD46.7 million. The facility will be equipped with a melting and casting line, an extrusion press and two bumper fabrication lines. Fabrication operations will begin in the second half of 2017 and the melting to extrusion processes will begin in the second half of 2018. KPEX will employ around 110 people when fully operational in 2019.
Primetals Technologies has received an order from Amag rolling GmbH to modernize the drive technology on the four-high cold rolling stand in its Ranshofen plant. The order covers not only the supply of the motors, converters and converter transformers but also the couplings, disk brakes and mechanical adaptations. Primetals is, in addition, handling the design, engineering, project management and training as well as the removal and assembly of components, repairs and the supply of spare parts. The purpose of the project is to increase plant availability. The conversion and commissioning work is scheduled to take place during a brief plant shutdown at the end of 2016. Primetals previously modernized the drive technology of the four-high hot rolling stand in 2015.
After some criticism of its members and industrial users, the London Metal Exchange (LME) has implemented measures to optimize its market structure and facilitate metal trading for members and their clients. As of September 2016 the fee rate for short-dated carries (including ‘Tom/next’ trades) executed by members will be reduced by 44 percent. Short-dated carry trades are unique to the LME’s daily date system, enabling users to roll positions from day to day, a vital component of inventory management for industrial users. The fee reduction will lower the cost to match the client fee of USD0.50 per side (trading and clearing inclusive). This fee is lower than the USD0.58 charged prior to the LME’s fee changes in 2015.
Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) has awarded Fluor Corp. an EPC contract for an expansion project in Kamsar, Guinea. The USD501m project will expand bauxite production from 14.5 to 18.5m tpy and is the company’s first of a planned three-phase expansion. The scope includes expansion of the mine infrastructure, rail system, port facility and processing plant infrastructure and utilities. Fluor has been involved since the project’s early stages executing the feasibility study and early engineering. The expansion is expected to complete in 2018. CBG is jointly owned by the Government of Guinea and the Halco Mining consortium, which includes Alcoa, Rio Tinto and Dadco Investments.
In connection with its Potline 6 expansion project, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has awarded GE and Gama Consortium the EPC contractors for its Power Station (PS 5). The two groups will be responsible to design, engineer, procure, construct and commission the 1,792 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant with an efficiency of 54%. GE will provide three 9HA gas turbines, three steam turbines and three high recovery steam generators (HRSGs) for the project. PS 5 which will be the largest and most efficient power station in Bahrain and first power station with H-class gas turbine technology in the Gulf region.
In mid-June Shandong Weiqiao Aluminium & Electricity Co., Ltd. has awarded SMS group the Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) for a three-stand tandem cold mill for aluminium. The private enterprise is a subsidiary of the Weiqiao Pioneering Group, which is ranking among the top 500 companies in China.
New research from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling confirms an overall recycling rate of 91% for automotive aluminium. The peer-reviewed study, funded by the North American Aluminum Association (AA), examines how much aluminium used in the United States’ light-duty automotive sector is recovered and recycled from vehicles at end of life. This new study supports findings from earlier third-party government and auto industry reports to confirm aluminium is the most sustainable choice for the environment.
World aluminium production in the first half of 2016 amounted to 28.212 million tonnes, down 1.3% compared with the same period a year earlier, according to statistics of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI). The largest aluminium producer was China (15.1m t, -3.3%), followed by the Gulf region (2.553m t, +0.7%) and North America (2.031m t, -9.1%).
Novelis has announced a number of senior executive moves, effective 1 September 2016. Emilio Braghi has been named senior vice-president of Novelis Inc. and president of Novelis Europe; Tom Boney has been named vice-president of Operations, North America; and Ganesh Panneer has been named vice-president and general manager of Automotive, North America.
Hydro's underlying earnings before financial items and tax (Ebit) rose 7.8% to NOK 1,6m in Q2 2016, compared to the previous quarter. The improved results reflected higher realized aluminium and alumina prices and stronger sales volumes, which were partly offset by currency developments. Compared to the prior year quarter, Ebit rose 39%.
The European Commission is considering a deal for the steel sector in exchange for granting China the coveted Market Economy Status (MES). This approach, likely to be debated by the College of Commissioners on 20 July, ignores the enormous Chinese overcapacities in industries like aluminium and creates unfair distortions on the EU market, according to the European Aluminium (EA) association.
Primetals Technologies has received an order from Aluminium Norf GmbH (Alunorf), Neuss, to modernize the drive technology of its KW5 tandem cold rolling mill. The scope of supply includes the power units, digital closed-loop drive controls for all main drives and the interface to the automation. Primetals will also handle the entire installation and commissioning. The project is scheduled for completion in January 2017.
The Austrian producer of aluminium rolled products, Amag Austria Metall AG, has entered into a multi-year contract with aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The contract includes a significant increase of business volume as of January 2017. The contract is the largest ever signed between the two companies.
The official programme for the Aluminium 2016 Conference from 29 November – 1 December 2016 in Düsseldorf is now complete. For the fourth time now the confer-ence for the world's largest aluminium trade fair is being planned and organized by the German aluminium association GDA together with the exhibition organiser Reed Exhibitions. Under the heading ‘Aluminium - Material for the Future’ a total of 42 presentations are planned for the three-day period of the trade fair in the sessions Markets, Automotive, Surface, Recycling, and Plant and Processes.
The gala dinner at the end of the World Tube Congress 2016 organised by etma (the European tube manufacturers association) to mark the 175th anniversary of the tube’s invention provided a glittering setting for the presentation of this year’s winners of the Tube of the Year competition. Some 150 participants and guests from the whole process chain of tube production had gathered in Berlin. “A fitting occasion for the jury, which comprised experienced representatives from our member companies augmented by editors from two well-known trade journals, to get together,” said etma secretary general Gregor Spengler.
The Global Aluminium Foil Roller Initiative (GLAFRI) has become a member of the ALUMINIUM Global Partnership Programme, which will help the organisation to raise its profile at the ALUMINIUM series of shows organised by Reed Exhibitions. These events are staged across the world, encompassing USA, Brazil, India, Middle East and China. Membership of the Programme supports GLAFRI’s aim of promoting aluminium foil on the global stage.
As part of the continuing GLAFRI activities the association will be present at the remaining exhibitions in 2016, which will be held in China (12-14 July, Shanghai) and Germany (29 Nov - 1 Dec, Düsseldorf). They will participate at the latter event in conjunction with EAFA, the European Aluminium Foil Association. Prior to this GLAFRI attended and presented at ALUMINIUM BRAZIL in June 2016.
Constellium N.V. announces that the recently appointed executive director Jean-Marc Germain will assume the role of chief executive officer, effective 11 July 2016. He will succeed Pierre Vareille, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Pierre will work closely with Jean-Marc to ensure a seamless transition and will serve as an advisor to the board.
Nespresso and Constellium co-operate on the recycling of used aluminium coffee capsules in Switzerland. The initiative aims at integrating sustainability across Nespresso’s value chain by giving the coffee capsules a ‘second’ life through aluminium recycling. The collected capsules will be recycled at Constellium’s plant in Singen, Germany, and then transformed into new ones. For a limited time during the summer, iconic and quintessentially Swiss products will be sold at Victorinox and Nespresso shops in Switzerland.
Alcoa has opened its 3D printing metal powder production facility located at the company’s Technology Centre. The plant will produce proprietary titanium, nickel and aluminium powders optimized for 3D printed aerospace parts. Alcoa also has invested in a range of technologies to further develop additive processes, product design and qualification.
Constellium N.V. plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Mexico for the production of automotive structural components made of aluminium. This plant, located in San Luis Potosí, will allow Constellium to meet the increasing demand for lightweight, high-strength aluminium crash management systems and automotive structures for the expanding car industry in Mexico. The automotive industry expects that nearly five million vehicles will be produced annually in Mexico by 2019, making it one of the largest markets for automobile production.
The international journal for industry, research and application of aluminium is published monthly. It provides information on all topical issues concerning the material, its production, processing, recycling and application. Furthermore, economic topics and ecological consequences of aluminium application are discussed. Thirty percent of all articles in the journal are written in English.
The trade journal is the leading title in the whole German-speaking area. It provides information on material-specific characteristics of aluminium, latest processing technologies and innovative applications in various branches and sectors of industry.