federation of aluminium consumers in europe

Aluminium in Europe Newsletter: 21-27 January


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

Among the latest main news: Liberty Group officially inaugurated Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque and underlined the companies plans to expand from France further into the European supply chain, Audi celebrated five years of lightweight aluminium, and European Aluminium’s new Chairman shared his views on the future of Europe’s aluminium industry. In the world, India is considering increasing import duties fearing aluminium dumping on its market and New Zealand seeks to become a world leader in sustainable smelting. 


European Aluminium Interviews Its New Chairman – Emilio Braghi

Emilio Braghi – Senior Vice-President and President at Novelis Europe – is now the new Chairman of European Aluminium. In an interview with the association, Braghi shared his views on the key challenges for the industry, underlining in particular unilateral trade measures, stricter climate change and energy regulations in the EU, and aluminium scrap flows out of Europe. In Braghi’s opinion, the aluminium industry will have a bright future and will play a key role in the development of the circular economy in Europe.


Audi’s Münchsmünster Plant: Five-Year Anniversary Of Lightweight Aluminium

German carmaker Audi’s Münchsmünster production site – specialised in manufacturing form-hardened sheet steel elements and diecast aluminium components for lightweight construction – celebrated its five-year anniversary and highlighted its future priorities for sustainability and biodiversity. The facility has been ramping up production over the past few years and hit an output of around 25 million vehicle components last year.


Constellium Supplying Aluminium Components To A Premium Automaker In Germany And Mexico

The Dutch aluminium semi-products producer Constellium N.V. became the supplier of front Crash Management Systems and other aluminium structural components to the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class from its plants in Gottmadingen, in Germany, and San Luis Potosí in Mexico. Producing customised aluminium automotive structures at its Gottmadingen plant, the company is a long-term supplier of Mercedes-Benz. Constellium inaugurated its facility in San Luis Potosí in spring last year to serve automakers in Mexico.


Liberty House Formally Inaugurated Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque

British Liberty Hose, part of steel tycoon’s Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance, officially opened the newly-baptised Liberty Aluminium Dunkerque after acquiring Europe’s largest aluminium smelter from Rio Tinto in December last year. During the opening ceremony, Mr Gupta reaffirmed his intention to use Dunkerque and Liberty Wheels France as a base for expansion into France’s industrial supply chain, in particular in the automotive sector.



EGA’s Guinea Bauxite Train Steaming Ahead To Deliver Its First Load

 Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) announced the successful maiden journey of its bauxite train from its subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation’s (GAC) mine to the coast of the West African country. The journey of the first loaded train marks a milestone in EGA’s Guinea bauxite mining project. Aluminium producers around the globe are expected to buy bauxite from the mine, which will be able to produce around 12 million tonnes of bauxite per year.


Rusal Sanctions Relief Eases Pressure On Armenian Aluminium Industry

The expected lifting of US sanction on Russia’s aluminium producer Rusal is set to ease pressure on export-driven Armenian aluminium mill Armenal. Employing around 700 workers, the Armenal plant produces around 33,000 metric tonnes of aluminium foil per year, and primarily supplies clients in the U.S. and Europe.



India Considers Hiking Import Duties On Primary Aluminium And Scrap

As primary aluminium imports to India rose by 24 per cent between April-October 2018 against the backdrop of trade tensions between the U.S. and China, the Indian government voiced support for an increase in aluminium and aluminium scrap import duties. The government is seeking to offer protective measures to national producers as industry complains that current trade tensions between the U.S. and China and India’s low import duties have made the country a dumping ground for primary aluminium and aluminium scrap.


Rio Tinto’s 2018 Production Down While 2019 Expected To See A Rise

The Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto released Q4 production numbers showing a 2 per cent decrease in alumina production last year as a result of maintenance shutdowns. Aluminium production in 2018 was 3 per cent lower and bauxite 1 per cent lower than 2017. This year, the world’s largest miner projects an increase in production of both bauxite and alumina.



Aluminium Foil Recognised As One Of The Major Packaging Materials

Four products using aluminium foil were rewarded at the 2019 WorldStar competition organised by the World Packaging Organisation. From cat milk to ice cream, aluminium packaging was recognised for its unique properties in keeping products fresh. “Foil rollers and converters continue to be at the forefront of packaging innovation and design,” noted Henning Grimm, Manager Communications of the European Aluminium Foil Association. Aluminium packaging is totally recyclable and offers sustainable solutions for an increasing number of products.


New Zealand Seeks To Become A Global Leader In Low-Carbon Aluminium  

New Zealand’s aluminium industry could soon become a world leader in sustainable aluminium production. The country’s Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter is testing Rio Tinto and Alcoa’s carbon-free smelting technology. The plant produces 337,000 metric tonnes of aluminium every year and could soon fully benefit from Elysis – a technology that replaces carbon anodes in the smelting process, eliminating all direct greenhouse emissions and producing oxygen insteda. The technology would be fully operational by 2024.



US Businesses Appeal To Trump For End To US Aluminium Tariffs

Around 50 industry groups addressed a letter to the Trump Administration calling on the President to review his Section 232 decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. The tariffs and countermeasures by other countries are causing “on-going economic hardship for US companies that depend on imported steel and aluminium,” the letter reads. Groups representing a large swath of the economy – including the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Egg Farmers and the National Restaurant Association – signed the letter as part of their campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effects of Section 232 tariffs.


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