Hydro is setting up a regional office in Doha, Qatar, for marketing Hydro's metal products in the Middle East, the Gulf states and Southern Africa. The office will be a part of Hydro's business area Metal Markets and its Asian Regional Organization, based in Singapore.
The positive development of demand for aluminium metal products in Asia and the rest of the world continues and is creating interesting markets for Qatalum.
Qatalum will produce and market mainly value-added casthouse products extrusion ingots and foundry alloys, in the Middle East and the Gulf states, Asia, Southern Europe and in the U.S. The markets for these products are driven by the construction markets, general manufacturing output and automotive production.
The slightly positive development of demand for metal products such as extrusion ingot, sheet ingot, foundry alloys and wire rod in the second half of 2009 has continued into 2010. The demand for casthouse products in Asia is strong and growing, while the consumption in both Europe and North America remains below the levels experienced in 2007 and 2008 and there are no indications of a fast recovery to pre-crisis consumption levels.
Full Qatalum production next year
This year, Qatalum production is estimated to be more than 300,000 tonnes, and 2011 will be the first year of full production. The Qatalum casthouse is designed have a capacity to produce 625,000 tonnes, slightly more than the Qatalum production of primary aluminium of 585,000 tonnes. The balance will be made up of remelting of aluminium process scrap and other cold metal.
Hydro's global market organization will bring all the products from Qatalum to the markets.
Hydro supplied the market with 2.4 million tonnes of casthouse products in 2009. Hydro is the market leader for aluminium casthouse products in Europe and has established strong market positions in Asia and the U.S. based on metal from its primary aluminium plants in Australia and dedicated remelting facilities centrally in the markets, as well as other sources.
Stronger market position
Qatalum will be an important source of quality products that will allow Hydro to increase its sales and market shares in Asia. In the U.S., Hydro will through Qatalum be able to offer metal products from primary aluminium, in addition to the products from our U.S. remelters. This gives Hydro a new and strengthened market position.
As a part of the global Hydro marketing network, customers of the Qatalum metal will have access to the extended services offered. These include technical and commercial services as well as scrap conversion in Hydro's dedicated remelt facilities located strategically in key metal markets.
Hydro is also stepping up its activities in recycling of other qualities of aluminium scrap. Aluminium can be recycled requiring only 5 percent of the energy needed to originally produce primary aluminium.