Chalco and Baosteel Group have recently signed a cooperation framework agreement on automotive aluminium sheet, reports Shanghai Metals Market. The two companies will establish a joint venture to jointly develop, produce and sell automotive aluminium sheet. The move will be a win-win business: while Chalco is experienced in the production of aluminium plate and sheet, Baosteel has a big market share in high-end automotive steel sheet.
Sapa has sold the metal trading company Cuprochimique NV to Belgium-based European Metal Supplies NV. Cuprochimique trades in aluminium profiles, bars, plates and other non-ferrous metals. European Metal Supplies is in the same field of business as Cuprochimique and will continue the company’s trading operations, according to majority owner David Tavernier. “Together with Cuprochimque we will strengthen our position in the market by expanding our business range and diversifying our product portfolio,” he says. The agreement is effective from June 22.
Next month Aluminium China 2016 will see the launch of China’s first authoritative publication on the processing and purchasing of aluminium for consumer electronics. The white paper, published by Reed Exhibitions China, will provide a single point of reference for the scope and potential of aluminium in the consumer electronic sector and offer guidelines for material and technology suppliers as well as end users, to facilitate informed decision making.
The Austrian company Amag has placed an order with Hertwich Engineering to supply a melting/casting furnace with a capacity of 55,000 tonnes a year, including a charging machine. The new furnace is scheduled to begin operating in the middle of 2017.
Pierburg GmbH, which belongs to first-tier auto-industry supplier KSPG AG, has been awarded major orders worth €375 million by a notable Chinese automotive group. The products to be delivered are intended for vehicle series sold in the Chinese domestic market as well as for models marketed worldwide. The acquired contracts for gasoline and diesel engines cover throttle and control valves, differential pressure flaps, electric recirculating water pumps, switchable mechanical water pumps as well as high- and low-pressure exhaust-gas recirculation valves.
Top executives from primary aluminium smelters in the Gulf region will participate at the 20th Arab International Aluminium Conference (Arabal 2016) in Dubai, UAE, from 22 to 24 November 2016 as part of an industry keynote panel discussion – covering topics such as the various factors relating to the regional downstream aluminium industry. Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) – the largest primary aluminium producer in the Gulf – is host of the two-day conference, which has adopted the theme ‘Global Challenges – Seeking Solutions’, this year marking the sixth time that EGA will have hosted the event.
BASF has signed an agreement to acquire Albemarle’s global surface treatment business, Chemetall. The purchase price is USD3.2 billion. The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and is expected to close by the end of 2016.
Alro S.A., one of the largest aluminium producer in Europe, has announced a USD53m investment programme for 2016 aimed to increase energy and equipment efficiency as well as to expand its product portfolio and increase competitiveness. The investment programme includes the increase of scrap processing capacity of the ‘Eco’ Casthouse, such as to reach a capacity of 90,000 tpy. In addition, Alro will commission a new line of aluminium scrap processing, with a capacity of 60,000 tpy.
The new Talex extrusion plant in Abu Dhabi operates using its own extrusion billets. The casthouse, which started operating in February 2016, was built as a turnkey plant by Hertwich Engineering. After the (now completed) first expansion stage the annual output will be around 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of extrusion billets.
German foundry machinery manufacturers faced a fall of 6% in sales in 2015 whereas orders received stagnated. On average for all regions, orders received fell by 1% last year. Countries outside the Eurozone represented a positive exception, with orders up by 12% compared with the previous year. In line with overall developments in the sector, the production volume was 5.4% below the previous year’s figure. Foundry machinery with a total value of €1.1 billion was produced.
Norwegian aluminium company Norsk Hydro’s fully owned subsidiary, Hydro Aluminium Rolled Products GmbH, has secured a power contract with Axpo Trading AG, a Switzerland-based energy company with captive power production and international trading activity, totalling 1.3 TWh (150 MW) annually in the five year period from 2021 to 2025.
All cars need to lose weight to reduce emissions in safe, reliable ways. This applies to e-cars in particular, due to their heavy battery components. The interdisciplinary ‘Light E-Body’ project in 2014 – co-funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research of Germany and comprising 15 partners from automotive industry, suppliers and universities – investigated several options to reduce car body weight from the 314 kg of a conservative concept in full steel. That project agreed on a multi-material concept with a 248 kg body. Going beyond, Hydro and fka have developed a full-aluminium car body that meets the benchmark on safety and stiffness while reducing the weight to just 199 kg.
Magellan Aerospace and Airbus have extended a contract for the supply of aluminium and titanium structural wing components from Magellan UK Ltd facilities located throughout Europe and its joint ventures in India. This contract, valued at around C$700 million, is comprised of precision machined details and assemblies for use on the A320 and A330 families, and the A380 programme. In addition to the contract extension for the machined components, Magellan UK was awarded a contract to supply certain A380 wing ribs to Airbus valued at around C$20 million. “The long-term nature of the contract will allow us to make infrastructure investments in both our domestic and emerging market operations to ensure that we are able to offer our customer a competitive and reliable source into the next decade,” said Phillip Underwood, president and CEO of Magellan.
Magna International will build a new casting facility in Telford, UK, to supply aluminium parts to Jaguar Land Rover. The new 225,000-square feet plant is expected to create up to 295 jobs at full capacity. Construction is expected to start in the autumn of this year. Once production begins in 2018, the facility will use Magna’s innovative high-pressure vacuum die casting process to produce a number of advanced lightweight aluminium castings – a key building block in the next generation all-aluminium and multi-material vehicle architectures. By using these types of castings, Magna helps automakers deliver maximum strength and stiffness and minimum weight, ultimately achieving better fuel economy, safety and handling.
In March 2016 Hertwich Engineering has successfully commissioned a continuous homogenizing plant with a capacity of 118,000 tpy at the Seydisehir plant of Eti Aluminyum AS, Turkey. The investment takes into account the fact that the extrusion industry in Turkey has been growing for years. Currently around 130 Turkish extrusion plants are operating a total of 230 extrusion lines.
Novelis has recently celebrated the commissioning of its third automotive finishing line in Oswego, New York, USA. Installed to support the production of stronger, lighter and safer vehicles, the line represents Novelis’ latest investment of USD120 million to expand high-strength aluminium alloy supply for Ford F-Series trucks.
ASAS Alüminyum Sanayi ve Ticaret in Sakarya, Turkey, a strong brand in the market for aluminium extruded products over a long time, can look back on four successful years of building an ultramodern production plant of aluminium flat rolled products. By recently placing an order with Achenbach for two more extra-wide aluminium foil rolling mills, one additional aluminium foil separator and another foil slitting machine, the company introduces the next step of expansion. In the near future, ASAS Alüminyum will produce high-class aluminium foil for a wide range of foil products. They are used as basis for sophisticated packaging foil such as blister packs for pharmaceutical products or intelligent compound packagings for food products for national and international market.
First quarter results for aluminium foil deliveries from European suppliers showed positive growth in domestic demand, after a sustained period of mixed or declining results. Exports, however, remain under pressure due to strong competition from non-European producers. Overall, the first three months of 2016 saw a small decline of 0.6% in total tonnage to 217,000 year-on-year, according to figures released by EAFA, the European Aluminium Foil Association.
Hilde Merete Aasheim, executive vice-president of Hydro’s primary metal business, has been appointed chairwoman of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), at the 89th meeting of its board of directors in Shanghai. Aasheim takes over from Abdulla Kalban, CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium, who stands down at the end of his two year tenure.
Varron Auto Kast Ltd (VAKL), based in Pune, India, has ordered two extrusion lines from the SMS group. VAKL will be supplied one 18-MN and one 10-MN short-stroke, front-loading extrusion press. The 18-MN press will process 7-inch billets of between 300 and 1,000 mm length, the 10-MN press 5-inch billets of between 300 and 600 mm length. The presses will have a combined annual capacity of more than 20,000 tonne of aluminum profiles. Commissioning of the two lines is scheduled to take place in the third quarter of this year.
Constellium has reported Q1 2016 results. Revenues fell by 17% to 1.2 billion euros year-on-year, primarily driven by lower metal prices and a 5% decrease in volumes. Adjusted Ebitda amounted to 92 million euros, down 3%. Overall Q1 2016 shipments were 362,000 tonnes (-5%).
Russia’s aluminium producer UC Rusal has announced its Q1 2016 results. Revenue in the first quarter of 2016 decreased by 22.7% to USD1.9bn year-on-year due to falling LME aluminium prices and premiums. However, the continuing decrease in cost per tonne ensured a steady Ebitda margin at 16.3%.
Russia’s aluminium producer UC Rusal has commenced the modernization of the Boksitogorsk Alumina Refinery. The goal of the USD2 million modernization programme is to increase the production of corundum, which is used in the manufacturing of abrasive and fire-resistant products.
Novelis has announced that its aluminium is used in the new 2016 Cadillac CT6 body. The new mixed material vehicle construction featured in the Cadillac CT6 represents a first of its kind for General Motors (GM) in North America and China. In North America, Novelis’ plant in Kingston, Ontario, will supply GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Detroit, Michigan. Novelis’ plant in Changzhou, China will supply GM’s Shanghai plant, which will produce the CT6 manufactured locally in China.
Novelis reports net income of USD29m for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016. Excluding tax-effected special items, net income amounted to USD50m in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, a 35% percent increase over the period a year earlier. For fiscal year 2016, the company recorded a net loss of USD38m million. Excluding tax-effected special items, net income was USD131m for the full year.
“We ended fiscal 2016 with strong operational performance globally, enabling us to achieve record total shipments and automotive sheet shipments for the year,” said Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis. “This volume growth and our portfolio management strategy translated into our highest full year Ebitda excluding metal price lag since fiscal 2012. Heading into fiscal 2017, we remain focused on driving asset efficiency as well as managing costs and working capital. In addition, we will continue to strengthen our product portfolio through further growth in the premium automotive sheet segment while continuing to deliver quality products and service to all of our customers."
Hydro and Brazilian mining company Vale have ended negotiations on the possible acquisition of Vale’s 40 % interest in Brazilian bauxite producer Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN). The two companies entered into a letter of Intent (LoI) regarding the possible transaction in October 2015, but have not been able to agree on commercial terms. Hydro will continue to own 5% of MRN, as well as to purchase bauxite from Vale under commercial agreements entered into in 2011.
Alcoa has reached an agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) that will help improve the competitiveness of its Intalco smelter. As a result, the smelter will not curtail production at the end of the second quarter as previously announced. The amendment to the power contract is effective 1 July 2016 through 14 February 2018 and provides for additional access to market power during this period.
Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it will manufacture aluminum extrusions for the US automotive sector, namely bumper materials for cars and car frame materials. The new business will operate through a company called Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. (KPEX) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The new company will have an integrated production facility, including a melting and casting line, one extrusion press and two bumper fabrication lines. Plans call for construction of the plant to begin this summer. Fabrication will start in the second half of 2017, and the melting to extrusion processes will begin in the second half of 2018. Annual production capacity of the USD46.7 million investment will be about 6,000 tonnes, and KPEX expects to create 110 jobs.
SMS group has delivered and commissioned a cutting-edge twin-stand aluminium tandem cold mill at Alcoa Inc. near Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. The new facility is part of Alcoa’s automotive growth project. In September 2015 Alcoa announced that the mill was complete and shipping to customers. The expansion focuses on the production of wide and durable aluminium sheets for lightweight car body construction.
Shandong Weiqiao Aluminium & Electricity Co., Ltd granted SMS group the Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) for an aluminum hot strip mill on 5 March 2016. The Chinese company is setting up a new aluminum rolling mill complex at its site in Zouping in the Shandong Province. In addition to the hot rolling mill, SMS group supplied two single-stand cold rolling mills, one three-stand cold tandem mill and a fully automatic high-bay warehouse for aluminum coils for the new works.
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.