Suzhou government officials and the Norwegian ambassador in China participated in the ceremony marking the inauguration of the new production facility, together with Jon-Harald Nilsen, president of Hydro Aluminium.
The over 200 invited guests experienced an impressive ceremony, which included the traditional ritual painting of the eyes of the Chinese lion.
The opening of Hydro Aluminium Suzhou, representing a total investment of approximately USD 30 million, marks the successful establishment of Hydro's first wholly owned automotive components plant in China. The project is consistent with Hydro’s long-term strategy of serving China’s fast-growing market for aluminium applications. This new facility is supported by the most advanced capabilities in research, development and manufacturing. The establishment of the plant also demonstrates the company’s evolving contribution to China’s development.
"Hydro’s aluminium activities already cover airfreight containers, building systems and aluminium extrusion, in addition to our long-running magnesium business in China. We are now establishing a Hydro Aluminium Competence and Support Centre in Suzhou, to support our growing operations in China. I expect that we will be able to make further steps to develop China into one of our important markets," said Jon-Harald Nilsen.
Producing drawn tubes and Multi Port Extrusions (MPE) in coil or cut to length, mainly used in the air-conditioning and engine cooling system of cars, the plant will service suppliers to carmakers in China and across neighbouring Asian countries.
Quality and service
Jon-Harald Nilsen, speaking at the opening ceremony, shared the vision of the new plant to become the best precision tubing supplier in Asia with respect to quality and service:
"The staff in Hydro Aluminium Suzhou is highly qualified and trained at other Precision Tubing lead plants to ensure that we are able to provide our customers the same level of quality and service in China. The plant will operate with the same state-of -the art technology employed in our most advanced facilities in Europe, with 30 years experience and leadership in precision tubing."
At present the plant has 63 employees. This will grow to 140 as the first phase of the plant reaches full capacity later this year.
Hydro Aluminium is the world’s leading supplier of precision tubing for automotive heat and fluid transfer applications. Its drawn tubes are used, for example, in fluid lines and air-conditioning systems, while MPEs are applied in condensers, evaporators, radiators and charge air coolers.
Although the plant will be Hydro’s first fully owned automotive components plant in China, the company already serves the domestic precision tubing market from its nearby joint venture, Hydro Aluminium Wuxi. Hydro also operates a wholly owned magnesium alloys plant in China, in Xi’an, owns a 31.8 percent share of Suzhou Huasu Plastics Co. Ltd. and has a joint venture with Meridian Automotive producing die-cast magnesium car components in the Shanghai area.
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