Aluminum companies Hydro Aluminum in Norway, and RUSAL in Moscow, announced that testing operations at the newly upgraded casthouse at Sayanogorsk have been successfully conducted. A new casting unit and aluminum refining system were installed in the casting complex, and a continuous homogenization furnace with design capacity of 100,000 tons per year was installed and tested. The plant is now able to increase the production of high-quality extrusion ingot on the basis of the new technology. Hydro has supplied its proprietary casting equipment and assisted with technical and operational know-how in the project, which will bring RUSAL's billet production into conformity with Hydro's quality specifications. The second stage of the upgrade, the scope of which has yet to be finalized, is intended to raise casthouse billet capacity to 160,000 tons per year by the end of 2005.