A third-party critical-reviewed life-cycle assessment (LCA) report shows that the energy and carbon impact of aluminum production in North America has dropped to its lowest point in history. Since 1991, the carbon footprint of primary aluminum production declined by 49%, while the footprint of recycled aluminum production dropped by 60%. During the same time period, the energy needed to produce primary and recycled (or secondary) aluminum has dropped by 27% and 49%, respectively.
The Aluminum Association launched the Choose Aluminum campaign, which includes a digital media ad buy, videos with workers and aluminum leaders, a new sustainability website and additional material highlighting the sustainable properties of the 100% recyclable metal. The campaign describes how aluminum is providing sustainable solutions in the areas of recycling, automotive production, building and construction more. It also tracks how the North American aluminum industry has reduced its carbon footprint by more than half over the last 30 years. The U.S. aluminum industry supports nearly 660,000 jobs and has invested over $3 billion in U.S. manufacturing over the past decade.
Alcoa Corp. unveiled a technology roadmap to support the company’s vision to reinvent the aluminum industry for a sustainable future. The technologies in Alcoa’s roadmap, including a proprietary post-consumer scrap-recycling process, have the potential to decarbonize a significant portion of the upstream aluminum supply chain. The roadmap includes three key programs: the Refinery of the Future, the ASTRAEA metal purification process and ELYSIS joint-venture technology.
Alcoa Corp. plans to restart 268,000 metric tons per year (mtpy) of aluminum capacity at its Alumar smelter in São Luís, Brazil. The facility has been fully curtailed since 2015. The process to restart will begin immediately. The first molten metal is expected in the second quarter of 2022, and the full 268,000 mtpy of capacity is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2022. The Alumar smelter restart will involve the hiring of more than 750 employees.
AA Metals Inc., a Florida-headquartered aluminum distributor, purchased a dormant aluminum plant in Williamsport, Pa., with plans to reopen and hire 100 employees. The facility will be the company’s first U.S.-based manufacturing operation and will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The former JW Aluminum plant closed in January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new business, which will be named Chance Aluminum, will focus on production of aluminum foil and coil and will serve as the domestic supplier of AA Metals.
KPS Capital Partners (KPS) signed a definitive agreement to acquire the global aluminum rolling business (Rolling) from Norsk Hydro ASA for approximately $1.67 billion. The transaction is expected to be complete by the middle of the year. Rolling is one of the largest global manufacturers of aluminum rolled products and serves customers across markets including automotive, beverage can, foil packaging and construction. Its assets include seven manufacturing facilities and one research-and-development center across Germany and Norway. The acquired facilities include Alunorf, the world’s largest aluminum rolling mill according to Norsk Hydro, and Grevenbroich, the world’s largest rolled aluminum finishing mill according to Norsk Hydro.
Kaiser Aluminum Corp. entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Alcoa Warrick LLC, containing all the assets of the Warrick Rolling Mill, from Alcoa Corp. for a purchase price of $670 million. Alcoa will retain ownership of the related smelting assets, power plant and land. As part of the transaction, Kaiser Aluminum will enter into a market-based molten aluminum supply agreement. The Warrick facility includes casting, significant hot- and cold-rolling capacity, and a range of finishing and coating lines. Warrick, which is located near Evansville, Ind., has shipped over 675 million pounds of aluminum in the last 12 months.
The global aluminum company formerly known as Braidy Industries announced a new name. Introduced as Unity Aluminum, the Ashland, Ky.-based company will continue to play a leading role in the aluminum industry by addressing a substantial global aluminum shortage impacting American jobs and economic growth. The new name signifies the company’s steadfast commitment to its customers, innovative technologies and local community in Ashland. Unity Aluminum has accelerated its plans to build the world’s most technologically advanced aluminum rolling mill. It is currently working to finalize fundraising and begin construction.
Ritchey Metals, a Canonsburg, Pa.-based manufacturer of zinc alloys, entered into a joint venture with Imperial Group to serve the nonferrous alloyed metals industry in the southern half of the United States. Chicago-based Imperial Group, which consists of 17 industrial entities, is a diversified metals group moving nearly 75 million pounds of metal per month. The joint venture will utilize Imperial Group’s plant in Scottsboro, Ala., which will add capabilities to service the market stretching all from the East Coast to the Southwest. Ritchey Metals operates two facilities in southwestern Pennsylvania, each with multiple industrial furnaces.
Otto Junker GmbH delivered a pusher furnace for heating and homogenizing aluminum ingot to Logan Aluminum Inc. in Russellville, Ky. Logan Aluminum manufactures flat-rolled aluminum sheet primarily used in the beverage market. In an effort to expand production, the company now operates the largest ingot furnace Otto Junker has ever supplied. The gas-fired furnace can simultaneously hold 32 ingots weighing up to 32 metric tons each, resulting in a charge weight of over 1,000 metric tons. High-convection technology ensures fast heating and cooling with short cycle times and low energy consumption.