Pyrotek Inc. is scheduled to complete construction of a new manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in November to serve and supply the rapidly growing aluminum smelting operations of the region. The first phase of construction will provide 66,000 square feet of floor space, and there is enough land at the site to allow for an eventual doubling of the plant footprint. Spokane, Wash.-based Pyrotek is scheduled to occupy the facility in January 2020.
Novelis Inc. announced that the European Commission has approved its proposed acquisition of Aleris Corp. The approval is conditioned upon the sale of Aleris' plant in Duffel, Belgium, which produces aluminum for the automotive and specialties markets. Novelis is working to market the plant to potential buyers. With this conditional approval in the European Union, as well as a clear path forward for approval in the U.S., the Atlanta-based company continues to work closely with the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) to receive its approval. According to Novelis, the transaction will strengthen its ability to compete against steel in the automotive market, meet growing customer demand for aluminum and achieve its recycling goals.
Kobe Steel Ltd.’s U.S. subsidiary, Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. (KPEX), held an opening ceremony Sept. 18 in Bowling Green, Ky., for an expansion project. KPEX, which manufactures and sells aluminum extrusions and fabricated products, will add an additional melting furnace and extrusion press. After the expansion is complete, KPEX will have two melting furnaces and two extrusion presses. Production capacity will increase to 1,000 tons per month from the current 500 tons per month. Plans call for mass production using the new equipment to begin in 2021.
Alcoa Corp. announced that, effective Nov. 1, 2019, it will implement a new operating model that will result in a leaner, more integrated, operator-centric organization that accelerates the company’s strategic priorities. Alcoa will eliminate its business-unit structure and consolidate sales, procurement and other commercial capabilities at an enterprise level. Under the new operating model, the Alcoa Executive Team will also be streamlined from 12 to seven direct reports to the CEO.
Novelis Inc. reaffirmed its full commitment to closing its proposed acquisition of Aleris Corp., a global supplier of rolled aluminum products, notwithstanding the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit to block the transaction. Atlanta, Ga.-based Novelis intends to vigorously defend against the DOJ's challenge, which it believes is without merit. Novelis announced in July 2018 that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cleveland, Ohio-based Aleris for approximately $2.6 billion.
Novelis Inc. announced a collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to establish the Novelis Innovation Hub at Georgia Tech. The company will invest $2.5 million to initiate research, faculty, student and educational program support. The collaboration will promote aluminum research, innovative business models and related educational endeavors at Georgia Tech and will serve as a cross-functional hub connecting Novelis’ technical and business innovators with Georgia Tech’s students and faculty.
Aluminerie Alouette, a Quebec-based aluminum producer, received a $15 million investment by the Government of Canada for development projects at its aluminum smelter. The investment will help Alouette, which has an annual production capacity of 600,000 metric tons of primary aluminum, maintain at least 830 jobs and modernize its facilities. Upgrades will include a pot change-out program, converting anode baking furnaces to natural gas, use of automated production vehicles and integration of Industry 4.0 concepts.
Alcoa Corp. announced that the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter plans to restart curtailed smelting capacity after members of the United Steelworkers union in Quebec approved a six-year labor agreement. The smelter, which is owned by Alcoa (74.95%) and Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (25.05%), has total capacity of 413,000 metric tons per year. The restart will begin on July 26 and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2020.
Central Motor Wheel of America Inc. (CMWA) will invest nearly $112 million to expand its aluminum wheel manufacturing facility in Paris, Ky. The project will create 145 full-time jobs and increase the company’s production by 50%. CMWA plans to expand onto an additional 40 acres and add 270,000 square feet onto its existing 330,000-square-foot plant. The 145 new jobs will include production, maintenance and engineering. Work on the expansion will this summer, and company executives expect production to begin in July 2021.
Andritz received an order from China’s Qinghai Zhuofeng New Material Co. Ltd. to supply two continuous annealing and processing lines, each with an annual capacity of 110,000 tons. Start-up is scheduled for the second quarter of 2021 (line 1) and the second quarter of 2022 (line 2). The lines will produce high-quality, flat aluminum product for the automotive industry. Andritz’s scope of supply also includes automation technology and commissioning.
Check out the October 2019 issue of Industrial Heating, featuring the "High-Temperature Refractory Maintenance", "How to Tell if You Really Have an Abrasion Problem", "Direct-Fired Gas Burners for High-Temperature Applications", and much more.