federation of aluminium consumers in europe

Aluminium in Europe Newsletter: 28 January – 3 February


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

Among the latest main news: the EU want the US to remove metal tariffs in exchange for eliminating EU industrial tariffs, Europe’s biggest aluminium refinery Aughinish could see further investment now without a threat of sanction to its parent company EN+. In the world, Kazakhstan reaches a production record in primary aluminium, and the week saw many developments in aluminium sustainability from fostering a circular economy to fighting climate change. 


EU Tells Trump To Lift Metal Duties If US Want Trade Deal  

The European Commission told the US administration that a trade deal including the elimination of industrial tariffs depended on Washington’s willingness to remove tariffs on EU steel and aluminium that the US imposed last summer. Publishing a report about the progress in the trade talks, the Commission mentioned that US had made “no movement” toward removing metal tariffs. When the EU launched the trade talks last summer, the Commission originally rejected negotiating while the tariffs remained in place. Earlier, the EU took the US to the World Trade Organisation over its decision to increase tariffs on European steel and aluminium.


Aughinish Alumina Could See Future Investment In The Plant

Aughinish Alumina could now receive further investments seeing that the US agreed to lift a threat of sanctions from Aughinish’s parent company EN+. “We will continue to invest in the plant now that we can be confident about its future,” said EN+ chairman and former UK cabinet minister Lord Barker of Battle. Aughinish – Europe’s biggest aluminium refinery – employs 450 workers and is essential to the supply chain on the continent.



EGA Concludes $6.5 Billion Corporate Debt Transaction

Taking advantage of strong lending market conditions, Emirates Global Aluminium completed a $6.5 billion term loan facility with a group of global and regional banks. The deal allows EGA to consolidate and diversify its sources of financing and is a sign of the company’s appeal to regional and international lenders. The loan allows EGA to strengthen its balance sheet at the time when the company mega-projects are set to begin production.



Kazakhstan Hits Record Aluminium Production In 2018

Kazakhstan’s Aluminium Smelter – a company owned by Eurasian Resource Group (ERG) – increased its aluminium production by 1.4 per cent year-on-year reaching an all-time record. The milestone is thanks to better performance of existing machinery. Kazakhstan’s Aluminium Smelter is the Central Asian country’s only producer of high-grade primary aluminium. Almost all of its aluminium is exported to Eurasian Economic Union countries and Southern and Central Europe.


China: shutting and restarting production

While Aluminium Corp of China – Chalco – decided to end aluminium production at its smelter in Shandong due to increasing energy costs in the province, China Hongqiao Group Limited – the world’s biggest aluminium producer – announced that it would ramp up production, including in Shandong province, now that this year’s government-mandated winter capacity cuts are ending. And yet, the company will face a more challenging domestic landscape with low prices. In 2018, Chinese aluminium export surged to a three-year high. While China has export tariffs in place for primary aluminium, smelters can export semi-fabricated forms of the metal. In December 2018, the US International Trade Commission slapped anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese common aluminium alloy sheet.



Engineers Manage To Weld Previously Un-Weldable Aluminium Alloy

Engineers at the at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering in the US have developed a way to weld the alloy, known as AA 7075. As strong as steel and just one-third of the weight, this aluminium allow was developed in the 1940 and has a lot of potential in automobile application. However, until now it was almost impossible to weld the alloy. Thanks to the breakthrough research of UCLA engineers, the strong and light aluminium alloy could now be used widely in automobile manufacturing enhancing vehicles’ fuel efficiency and safety.



Aluminium To Play A Bigger Role In Drinks Packaging

Aluminium cans have a lot of potential in the beverage sector, tells Ramon Arratia – Ball Beverage Packaging Europe sustainability director – in an interview with Innovation Forum. Aluminium cans are increasingly replacing bottles in craft beers and soft drinks, as the drinks industry is looking for sustainable and cost-efficient packaging. Arratia calls on governments to introduce incentives and tax systems for packaging that respects the environments and contributes to growth of a circular economy.


Consumers Goods Companies Opt For Aluminium Packaging To Cut Waste

About 25 consumers good companies – including Nestlé, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Unilever – have joined a new green initiative. Loop – the durable packaging programme unveiled at the World Economic Foum in Davos – encourages brands to use recyclable materials for their packaging. Nestlé, for example, will now offer its Häagen-Dazs ice cream in a double-walled aluminium jar that keeps the ice cream colder than cardboard disposable packaging and can be infinitely recycled.


Aluminium Packaging Is Key To EU’s Circular Economy – Metal Packaging Europe

Discussing the latest EU waste legislation, Gordon Shade – CEO of Metal Packaging Europe highlights that across Europe three out of four aluminium drink cans are collected and recycled and, globally, they are the most recycled beverage package. At the same time, there are still EU Members States that need to improve their recycling rates by working closer the aluminium industry to catch up with countries like Germany, Finland and Belgium where almost 100 per cent of all aluminium cans are recycled.


Aluminium Producers Are The Biggest Buyers Of Wind Power In Europe

Last year, aluminium producers Norsk Hydro and Alcoa were the biggest buyers of wind power in Europe. Both companies signed contracts with wind power farms in Norway and Sweden looking for greener ways to power their machinery. Wind power has recently gained in competitiveness and big companies have started to privilege renewable energy to manage volatile energy costs and reduce their carbon emissions.


Aluminium Could Be Key To Fighting Climate Change

Researchers at the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (University of York), have developed an aluminium catalyst that could enable sustainable carbon dioxide conversion. While the current methods of carbon capture and storage require large amounts of raw materials, the new technique uses aluminium which, unlike rare metals, accounts for about 8 per cent of the Earths crusts and is relatively easy to find and extract. The aluminium catalyst can convert carbon dioxide into cyclic carbonates – commercially valuable products used in batteries, pharmaceuticals and polymers.



US Manufacturers Face High Aluminium Costs Despite Rusal Sanctions Removal

While the US Treasury removed a threat of sanction on Rusal, the countries aluminium consumers will still pay more for the light metal compared to manufacturers elsewhere. The cost of aluminium will not go down for American manufacturers due to Trump’s insistence to keep higher tariffs on imports of aluminium and steel. While Rusal supplied only about 10 per cent of the U.S. aluminium market in 2017, the Russian company is a big player on the European market. For European consumers, premiums are expected to slide due to high stocks of aluminium held by traders in Europe, writes Reuters.


    Members :
    Observer members :


      Please subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter