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federation of aluminium consumers in europe

Aluminium in Europe Newsletter: September 16

 

FACE Aluminium brings you a roundup of last week’s aluminium news.

Among the latest news: in Europe, Norsk Hydro is restructuring its aluminium foil and rolling businesses, and a new milling machine facility is unveiled in Switzerland. In the world, EN+ and EGA showcase their sustainability efforts, India adopts European technology to launch primary foundry alloy production, and Alcoa implements new radical changes to its operating model. 

 

Norsk Hydro Restructures Foil, Rolling Businesses  

Norsk Hydro announced last week it would curtail parts of its aluminium foil production at the Grevenbroich plant in Germany and could dismiss over 700 workers in the face of strong competition in this market segment. Moreover, the company sold its Romanian extrusion plant to Austrian aluminium specialist Hammerer Aluminium Industries (HAI) after reviewing its extruded solutions business. For HAI, the new premises allow it to expand capacity and meet the growing demands of its customers.

 

GF Unveils New Production Centre

Swiss manufacturer GF Machining Solutions officially opened its new production and innovation centre in Biel, Switzerland. The new building brings under one roof three former GF sites – the firm’s entire Swiss milling machine and laser production. The facility also includes an R&D centre for machine tools and automation solutions. The company invested over 91 million euros in the construction, creating 450 jobs.

 

 

Stable Growth In Aluminium Aerosol Cans Production

AEROBAL – the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers – said that recent rapid growth in the production of aluminium cans worldwide stabilised as its member companies reported a production fall of about one per cent. AEROBOL cited the current economic environment worldwide had a negative effect on growth. While demand is still increasing in European countries outside the EU and in the Middle East, it has decreased in Western Europe, North America and the Asian markets.

 

Gränges Sales Volume Drops In Q3 

Temporary production disturbances at two North American plants negatively impacted Swedish rolled aluminium firm Gränges’s already constrained rolling mills capacity, leading to lost production capacity and lower sales volume in the third quarter. While the company did not specify the nature of these outages, it noted that they took place at plants operating at close to maximum capacity. Gränges advised that the issues at the two plants were promptly addressed and the company was looking forward to expansion investments in the fourth quarter.

 

Alcoa Implements New Operating Model

Alcoa announced radical changes to its operating model to stay more agile and responsible to customers’ needs. The company plans to eliminate its business unit structure and consolidate sales and procurement. Under the new model, Alcoa’s executive teams will be reduced from 12 to seven members who will report directly to the company’s CEO Roy Harvey.

 

Allison Transmission Buys Castings Businesses

Allison Transmission – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automatic transmissions – acquired assets of Walker Die Casting and C&R Tool and Engineering. Walker produces aluminium castings while C&R Tool and Engineering is a leading supplier of metal working tools. Allison Transmission is headquartered in Indiana and has a regional office in the Netherlands and a manufacturing facility in Hungary.

 

Vedanta Unveils Primary Foundry Alloy

Using technology from Spain and Italy, India’s Vedanta Aluminium launched the country’s first primary foundry alloy (PFA) production line for the domestic automotive industry. The new product makes the company the first primary aluminium producer in India to supply the raw material for alloy wheels. According to Vedanta, the automotive industry is completely depended on imports thus far while its new PFA capacity is in line with the government’s “Make in India” initiative and will help reduce India’s import bill.

 

 

Every Can Counts Project Launched In Italy

Every Can Counts – the partnership between can manufacturers and the recycling industry – was presented in Italy for the first time during the Moto GP Misano in the Riviera of Rimini. “Ogni lattina vale” – the Italian reincarnation of the European project that helps organisations promote aluminium recycling – aims to reinforce municipal recycling projects around Italy. During the event in Misano, CIAL – Italian Consortium for Aluminium Recycling – organised several activities to raise awareness about aluminium can recycling, including an installation for used cans and a team of “green-riders” collecting cans for recycling.

 

EN+ Commits To Net-Zero Emissions

Rusal’s parent company EN+ Group joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C movement intending to target net-zero operational emissions by mid-century at the latest. While the majority of almost 600 companies that have committed to climate action through the programme aligned their targets to 2°C, EN+’s goals meet the 1.5°C ambition of the Paris Agreement. “Our ambition is to lead the transformation of the global aluminium industry, a material that will be central to the low-carbon global economy,” commented EN+ Group’s executive chair Lord Barker of Battle.

 

EGA Publishes Second Sustainability Report

UAE’s Emirates Global Aluminium published its second annual Sustainability Report disclosing the company’s management approach and sustainability performance in 2018 in the UAE and Guinea. The report covers five areas – from environment to innovation – and details EGA’s efforts to provide sustainable material of the highest quality. Last May, the Al Taweelah site became the first in the Middle East to be certified against the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standards for its sustainability practices and performance.

 

Aluminium Can Still Most Sustainable Beverage Packaging Option

Aluminium cans maintain their position as the most sustainable beverage packaging according to a newly released report by the U.S.-based Aluminum Association and the Can Manufacturers Institute. The report claims that the aluminium can is the most valuable package in the recycling stream and that it subsidises the recycling of less valuable material such as glass and plastic.

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