The Global Foil Roller Initiative (GLAFRI) has become a member of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) to further strengthen its position as a global voice for responsible and sustainable aluminium foil market growth, worldwide. GLAFRI will join 42 other members of ASI, including several national aluminium associations, foil converters as well as industrial users and international civil society organisations.
Oliver Hommel, president of GLAFRI, confirmed that the decision to join had been reached following strategic discussions at the 2016 Global Foil Roller Conference in Shanghai and its annual webinar early this year, “We are very glad to join ASI as one of the key objectives of GLAFRI is to promote sustainable growth for our sector. We are convinced that a close cooperation with ASI will encourage our members to enhance even further their responsible management programs and will contribute to positioning aluminium foil best in the sustainability debate.”
The German aluminium semi-finished products industry showed itself to be strong and in good condition last year. Production of German rolling and extrusion press plants rose by 7.8% to roughly 2.63 million tonnes, which corresponds to annual sales of roughly six billion euros. For economic development in 2017 semi-finished product companies remain optimistic. “Opportunities for aluminium remain very good in a wide variety of areas of application and industries. Not only has it become an innovative material of the future in automobile manufacturing, but also in other mobility applications such as aircraft and ship building, or in rail and utility vehicles the demand for aluminium will continue to increase,” says Bernd Schäfer, chairman of the aluminium semis division of the German aluminium association GDA, on the general meeting in mid-March 2017.
The output of the European tube industry continued its upward trend in 2016 despite the complicated economic and political environment in Europe and the rest of the world. According to the European Tube Manufacturers Association (etma), total tube production rose one per cent.
Rio Tinto has awarded more than USD900 million in contracts to Queensland suppliers as the development of the Amrun bauxite project on Cape York Peninsula continues. The Queensland spend makes up almost two thirds of the USD1.38 billion in contracts awarded to Australian suppliers for the project to date. 509 Queensland businesses have been engaged directly and indirectly to supply goods and services to the site.
Arconic has entered into a multi-year agreement with Toyota North America. Arconic will supply aluminium to the carmakers all-new Lexus RX. The vehicle debuted last year and became Toyota’s first vehicle in North America to prominently feature aluminium exterior panels.“Automakers worldwide are turning to aluminium for the stronger, tougher, higher performing vehicles that consumers demand,” said Mark Vrablec, president of Arconic’s Aerospace & Automotive Products business. “Many bestselling vehicles in America have already converted to aluminium for improved performance, including better fuel efficiency, more towing and payload capacity, and improved vehicle safety scores. This trend will continue. We are proud to expand our relationship with Toyota.”
This year’s Aluminium China in Shanghai from 19-21 July is set to mark a new period of growth in the aluminium industry and reflect strengthening market conditions in China and across the world. Aluminium China 2017 will focus on the transformation driven by new technologies in areas such as lightweight vehicle manufacturing and consumer electronics.
Novelis has expanded its automotive supply capabilities by signing an agreement with next-generation car company, NIO, to provide innovative aluminium solutions for its fleet of smart, high-performance, premium electric vehicles. NIO will use Novelis Advanz aluminium alloys to create a wide range of structural components and parts for its aluminium-intensive NIO electric SUV models to be launched over the next five years. The NIO partnership marks Novelis’ first major commitment in the premium electric vehicle segment. Supply for NIO will come from Novelis’ Changzhou plant, China’s first facility dedicated to manufacturing heat-treated automotive sheet.
A strong performance from European aluminium foil rollers in the last half of the year has lifted deliveries above pre-economic crisis levels for the first time in a decade. Domestic deliveries showed a marked improvement (+1.5%) compared with a year earlier, and exports performed better than expected, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
UACJ Automotive Whitehall Industries, based in Ludington, Michigan, has placed an order with SMS group to supply a HybrEx25 extrusion press. The 25 MN (2,750 US-tons) press will be the third SMS press for Whitehall and the first machine of this series for the North American aluminum market. It will considerably reduce energy consumption and boost productivity by up to 20 percent. “The new HybrEx press is very resource-efficient. That makes it sustainable, cost-saving and eco-friendly – and that is what convinced us,” says Mike Wegener, director of Manufacturing Engineering at Whitehall.
Constellium N.V. has reported results for the full year 2016. Adjusted Ebitda grew by 10% to €377 million reflecting continued operational improvement in the P&ARP (Packaging & Automotive Rolled Products) segment, strong momentum and higher profitability in the AS&I (Automotive Structures & Industry) segment and stable performance in the A&T (Aerospace & Transportation) segment despite evidence of softening aerospace demand at year-end. CEO Jean-Marc Germain commented: “We remain confident in the long-term demand across our targeted end markets and in our ability to continue to grow adjusted Ebitda in the high single digits annually over the next three years.”
SNC-Lavalin is currently conducting a feasibility study for Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) for its tenth generation Technology Pilot Section project, located at EGA’s Al Taweelah site in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The objectives of the study are to define the project and validate the budget in order to launch the execution phase of the Pilot Section. The work is being carried out from EGA’s Al Taweelah site. Design and detailed engineering work has already been completed by the EGA technology team.
“We have established a long-lasting relationship with EGA, and we are proud to once again work with them on setting the foundations for another ambitious project,” said José J. Suárez, president, Mining & Metallurgy. “We are looking forward to the next phase of this project that expands and adds to EGA’s already impressive asset portfolio, being one of the largest aluminium producers in the world.”
Alcoa Corporation is consolidating its business units to reduce complexity. Effective immediately, the aluminium smelting, cast products and rolled products businesses, along with the majority of the energy segment assets, will be combined into a new Aluminium business unit. As a result, the company’s three business units are Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium. Streamlining the number of business units “will increase our operational agility, lower costs and promote more efficient internal coordination. We will continue to review our company structure and processes to ensure that Alcoa remains resilient through all market cycles,” said Alcoa’s CEO, Roy Harvey. Tim Reyes, president of Alcoa Cast Products since 2015, has been appointed president of the new Aluminium unit.
BAGR Berliner Aluminiumwerk GmbH in Germany, which is a group company of Metalcorp Group in Amsterdam, has acquired 50% of the shares of Stockach Aluminium GmbH from SSVP III, a Private Equity Fund that is advised by Orlando Management AG. BAGR and Stockach Aluminium produce rolling slabs made from secondary aluminium. With locations in Berlin and Stockach, the companies do not only complement each other from a geographical point of view but also with regards to their product portfolio.
Amag Austria Metall AG looks back on a successful 2016 business year. The company achieved record shipments for the sixth consecutive year. Driven by strong demand for aluminium, particularly from the transport industry, shipments climbed to an all-time high of 405,900 tonnes, up 6% compared with the previous year. Net income after taxes improved 14% to 46.3 million euros. The volume and earnings growth underscores the growth course at the group’s main site in Ranshofen, supported by the installation of new equipment and productivity improvements.
Laminazione Sottile, a major processor of aluminium, located in Caserta, Italy, has just placed an order for a new Optifoil HeavySlit foil slitting machine, type HGS 18/08 with Achenbach Buschhütten. The objective of this investment is to expand production in the field of finstock products and flexible water pipes. In order to guarantee the known to be first-class quality of Laminazione Sottile’s products, the decision was made in favour of Achenbach Optifoil technology and in particular relating to the innovative single contact roller technology which grant both the reduction of scrap (loose side slits) and a better winding quality of narrow finished rolls.
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has become the first aluminium company in the Middle East to join the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, which brings the world’s leading mining and metals companies together with well-known aluminium customers to set global standards for governance, environmental and social responsibility. EGA has invested almost one billion US-dollars since 2010 in environmental technologies and facilities to reduce and manage its emissions and waste, and makes important social contributions including creating employment, spurring broader economic development and focusing on safety and worker welfare.
Hydro Aluminium in Commerce, Texas, has placed an order with Hertwich Engineering for the supply of a modern batch homogenizing furnace and a further saw for extrusion billets. Hydro processes some 100,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap into extrusion billets at its Commerce facility. The company already operates a Hertwich continuous homogenizing furnace and has now placed an order for a batch homogenizing furnace together with an additional saw. The new furnace will have a capacity of 55 tonnes and be designed for billets up to a maximum length of 7.7 metres and diameters in the range of 178 to 406 millimetres.
The German aluminium association GDA is organizing the European Aluminium Congress 2017 in Düsseldorf from 27-28 November 2017, with the topic ‘Aluminium in Automotive Engineering – Challenges and Solutions’ in cooperation with the D-A-CH Alliance for Aluminium, the Swiss Aluminium Association (alu.ch) and the Austrian Non-Ferrous Metals Federation – Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO). Papers can be submitted as of now. The call for papers runs until 02 May 2017.
The Saudi National Automobiles Manufacturing Company (SNAM) recently signed an agreement with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden) to increase the aluminium content in vehicles produced in Saudi Arabia. During a signing ceremony in Riyadh, Khaled S. Alohali, Ma’aden vice-president of Strategy and Aluminium said: “Ma’aden and SNAM are united in our goal of increasing the use of aluminium in the automotive industry as an alternative to iron. Ma’aden operates one of the world’s largest fully integrated aluminium complexes and we are currently supplying Jaguar Land Rover with high quality auto sheet product from our world class rolling mill facility.”
Russia’s aluminium producer UC Rusal has announced its operating results in 2016. Aluminium production totalled 3.7 million tonnes, up 1.1% year-on-year. Aluminium sales volumes amounted to 3.8 million tonnes, which is an increase of 4.9%, largely attributable to additional volumes from the Boguchansky smelter. Alumina output totalled 7.5 million tonnes (+1.7%). Bauxite output amounted to 12.2 million tonnes (+0.6%).
Danieli Fata Hunter has supplied and installed a cold rolling mill and a tension levelling line at the new Eurometal greenfield plant located in the new Kleszczów Industrial Park in Poland. The cold rolling mill produces 120,000 tpy of aluminium coils, coming from two casting machines, with a thickness of 10 to 6 mm and which are rolled down to a thickness of min 0.15 mm at a speed up to 1,200 m/min; strip width is max. 2.1 metres.
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has placed an order for the supply of an additional batch homogenizing furnace for the heat treatment of billets with Hertwich Engineering. Including this new unit, which will go into operation at the end of 2017, a total of five batch furnaces of this type will be operating at EGA’s Jebel Ali plant (Dubal) and two at EGA’s Al Taweelah smelter (Emal).
The Aluminium Closures – Turn 360° campaign, which promotes the advantages of aluminium closures for winemakers, will again host a daily competition at ProWein, the leading trade fair for wine professionals, in Düsseldorf, Germany, 19-21 March. The campaign team can be found in the dedicated Packaging & Design sector adjacent to the ProWein Forum, Hall 13, Stand F16.
Hydro’s underlying operating earnings (Ebit) rose to NOK1,829m in the fourth quarter from NOK1,477m in the previous quarter. Higher realized alumina and aluminium prices lifted results for the quarter, partly offset by seasonally higher costs and lower aluminium product sales. Hydro expects continued healthy demand for aluminium and aluminium products, forecasting global primary demand growth at 3-5% in 2017.
Aluminium company Novelis reported net income of USD63m for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, compared to a net income of USD6m in the prior-year period. Excluding tax-effected special items in both periods, the company more than doubled third quarter fiscal 2017 net income to USD67m from USD32m in the prior year. Current year net income reflects record adjusted Ebitda and an 18% reduction in interest expense, a result of the refinancing of two senior note issuances during the second quarter of fiscal 2017.
“Continued operational efficiencies combined with strong aluminium automotive sheet demand and strategic capacity investments delivered record, sustainable adjusted Ebitda results this quarter,” said Steve Fisher, president CEO of Novelis.
The European Aluminium (EA) association reiterated its commitment to the circular economy at this week’s 14th International Aluminium Recycling Congress. Europe plays a leading role in this debate but will need to cooperate more closely on a global level to close the loop. EU policymakers should ensure equivalent standards for treating exported EU scrap to truly impact the global stage.
The International Aluminium Institute (IAI), the global association of aluminium producers, has launched a new web-based tool to visualise the aluminium value chain, from bauxite to scrap, including inter-regional trade flows. The IAI’s mass flow visualisation, available at www.world-aluminium.org/statistics/massflow, allows users to manipulate an animated Sankey diagram, showing the production, consumption and trade of bauxite, alumina, ingots (primary and recycled), semis, final products and scrap across nine regions over the period 1962 to 2014.
Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) proceeds in the development of its bauxite mining and export facilities in the Republic of Guinea. Jan de Nul, a Belgian marine contractor that also worked on the construction of the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, completed a three month project for site infill and elevation of 50 hectares of land at Kamsar on the Guinean coast for a rail loop and bulk materials handling facilities. Marine sand was piped to the site through a specially-built 5 km pipeline, significantly reducing the need for truck movements in Kamsar town.
PSI received an order from Gränges AB in Sweden to implement PSImetals as a production management solution to harmonize their production processes. Gränges, which focuses on rolled products for the heat exchanger industry, aims to establish globally integrated production processes based on one common platform. Today Gränges operates different manufacturing execution systems (MES) in their sites in Sweden, China and in the US which are developed and maintained in-house. To standardize business processes and to reduce administration and maintenance efforts, Gränges implements PSImetals as integrative production management solution from Planning to Execution.
Bonnell Aluminum of Newnan in Georgia, announced that its parent company, Tredegar Corp., has agreed to acquire 100% ownership of Futura Industries. Upon the closing of the transaction, expected by mid-February, Futura will become an operating division of Bonnell Aluminum. Futura, headquartered in Clearfield, Utah, with a national sales presence and particular strength in the western US, designs and manufactures a wide range of extruded aluminium products for a number of industries and end markets, including branded flooring trims and TSLOTS, as well as OEM components for truck grills, solar panels, fitness equipment and other applications. Futura has some 350 employees.
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