Aluminium companies Hydro and RUSAL announced today that testing operations at the newly upgraded casthouse at Sayanogorsk have been conducted successfully. The plant will now be able to increase the production of high-quality extrusion ingot on the basis of the new technology.
RUSSIAN METAL: Rusal aims to make Russian aluminium more attractive for export. (Photo: Dag Sunnanå)
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.
According to an agreement signed by both companies in July 2002, the modernization project is divided into two stages: The first stage, now completed, will nearly triple the Sayanogorsk plant’s annual billet capacity to 80,000 metric tonnes from 30,000 tonnes, and broaden the facility’s product mix according to customer requirements. Hydro’s marketing organization will be responsible for selling the extrusion ingots from this first stage.
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 tonnes per year by the end of 2005.
During the first stage, a new casting unit and aluminium refining system were installed in the casting complex. A continuous homogenization furnace with design capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year was also installed and tested.
"This upgrade allows RUSAL to substantially raise the plant's billets productivity and improve the quality. It also allows RUSAL products to access new markets," said Vladimir Smirnov, Head of RUSAL’s Alloy Export Department. "This is the first stage of our co-operation which now opens the opportunity for further development."
"The Sayanogorsk casthouse will be an important source for Hydro Aluminium in serving the increasing market needs in Asia and North America for high quality extrusion ingots," said Harald Aasheim, head of Hydro’s extrusion ingot business unit. "This will strengthen our global capabilities as the preferred supplier of these products."
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