federation of aluminium consumers in europe

Aluminium in Europe Newsletter: September 23


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

Among the latest news: in Europe, FACE’s Secretary General is calling on the EU to focus on downstream sector to save European SMEs, Aughinish Alumina in Ireland posts falling profits despite higher revenues, and the Saxony state government in Germany invited Altech Chemicals to consider Saxony to build its first European HPA plant. In the world, Vedanta is seeking to secure own bauxite and coal mines to remain the cheapest producer in India, Rusal’s parent company En+ is calling on the LME to create Low Carbon Aluminium asset, and Alcoa is named as aluminium leader in the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. 


Focusing on the downstream will save European SMEs

The news that China has – once again – produced record amounts of primary aluminium in June followed by continuously rising Chinese exports in July, surprises no one in the industry. But it will once more up the pressure on European companies in the downstream sector, as China dumps its aluminium products onto the market. The subsequent slump in prices has already devastated entire industries in Europe, particularly in the UK and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, European aluminium manufacturers paid 18 billion euros in import tariffs on raw aluminium. The European downstream industry is facing an existential threat that requires a comprehensive policy adjustment. Read the full article by our Secretary General Mario Conserva in the latest edition of Aluminium International Today. 


Aughinish Alumina Revenues Up

Europe’s largest alumina refinery Aughinish Alumina achieved a 15 per cent increase in revenues last year despite US Treasury sanctions imposed on the refinery’s parent company Rusal. However, the company’s pre-tax 2018 profits decreased by 19 per cent. Facing rising costs at the plant, Rusal is seeking to supply own bauxite that will replace higher priced bauxite supplied by other companies.


Altech Asked To Build HPA Plant in Germany

The government of the German state of Saxony invited Australian innovator Altech Chemicals to locate its European high-purity alumina (HPA) processing plant in the Schwarze Pumpe industrial area near Dresden. As HPA is considered as a crucial component in the lithium-ion battery materials supply chain, an Altech HPA plant in Saxony would support the state’s efforts to create an electric vehicle battery industry. The state government made Altech aware of potential grants to encourage the company to consider Saxony. Altech is currently completing its maiden HPA plant in Malaysia.


EU Demands Countries To Recover State Aid

Ireland, France and Italy lost their appeal at the European Court of Justice against an EU demand to recover million of euros in aluminium tax breaks. The EU forced Ireland to recover €10 million that the European Commission said amounted to illegal state aid provided to the now Rusal-owned Aughinish Alumina refinery. Italy will have to recover public funds it provided to Eurallumina and France funds provided to Alcan.



Vedanta Wants Captive Bauxite, Coal Mines

India’s Vedanta wishes to obtain its own captive bauxite and coal mines to meet its raw material requirements and remain the world’s cheapest producer of aluminium. A recent strike at its external coal supplier encouraged the company to focus on seeking own supply for tis captive coal-fired power plants. Vedanta plans to announce expansion projects once it settles the issue of raw materials supplies. India’s aluminium sector is heavily dependent on coal for its energy needs.


Plascore To Expand Composite Product Facility 

Plascore – American manufacturer of lightweight composite products – announced its plan to invest nearly $6 million to expand its presence in Zeeland, Michigan. The company will invest in equipment and expand production capacity to meet growing demand for its aluminium products – honeycomb core, cleanrooms, and composite panels – used in aerospace, marine and military applications. The local authorities approved a tax exemption for over 12 years to support Plascore’s project.



En+ Calling For LME Low Carbon Aluminium

The LME should fully disclose the carbon content of every trade on the Exchange to create a new global asset class – Low Carbon Aluminium – to encourage aluminium producers to meaningfully reduce their carbon footprint, writes in the FT the Executive Chairman of En+ Lord Barker. The parent company of Rusal wants every company in the sector to be far more transparent in disclosing the carbon content of the aluminium it produces.


Five Hydro Extrusion Plants Achieve ASI Certification

Aluminium Stewardship Association (ASI) certified Hydro’s aluminium extrusion operations at Nenzing (Austria), Toulouse (France), Rackwitz and Uphusen (Germany), along with the aluminium tubing operation in Lichtervelde (Belgium) to the ASI Performance Standard for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium. Hydro now has 20 plants certified by ASI – the largest number in the aluminium industry – spanning from the value chain from bauxite mining to extruded solutions.


Alcoa Named Aluminium Industry Leader

Alcoa was named the Aluminium Industry Leader the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. The listing recognised Alcoa’s leadership in sustainable operations across the aluminium value chain, including in corporate responsibility and sustainability. Among the most notable achievements in its sustainability performance, Alcoa mentions that around 72 per cent of electricity consumed by its smelters was from renewable sources. The company is also currently working with Rio Tinto to commercialise Elysis – a new technology that eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process of aluminium.


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