Rusal Starts Aluminium Foil Production at Its Armenian Plant

RUSAL, a top three global aluminium producer, has launched production at ARMENAL, its foil-rolling asset, following completion of the first stage of its modernisation plans. The renovated plant will operate at an annual capacity of 25,000 tonnes of foil as a result of this $70 million programme.

Commenced in 2004, the modernisation programme will widen the range of products manufactured at the plant. The revamp at ARMENAL will create a full production cycle and has included installation of direct casting and rolling equipment, as well as a full-scale modernisation of blank-producing and foil-rolling mills, which are now furnished with automated systems to control and manage the technological process. The German company Achenbach was selected as the general contractor. RUSAL has also introduced modern environmental and labour safety systems.

The benefits of the modernisation mean that ARMENAL has the technical capacity to manufacture thin foil — 6-9 micron thick — a product in high demand both domestically and internationally. ARMENAL will have a capacity to make 18,000 tonnes of thin foil and 7,000 of household foil annually. The plant will begin accepting orders as early as this December.

Today at ARMENAL, we are launching production at an advanced technological level, in line with the highest international standards of quality, environmental protection and labour safety. I am positive that this project will put the plant among the world's top foil producers, help cement RUSAL's leadership position in this market and contribute to the development of economic relations between Russia and Armenia,» said RUSAL Director for Packaging Alexander Burdin. «The re-start of the revamped ARMENAL plant is a great example of mutually advantageous cooperation between our two states — Russia and Armenia,» he added.

In 2007, when all the technological upgrades are completed and ARMENAL begins operating at full capacity, the plant will be one of the three leading foil producers in the Commonwealth of Independent States, accounting for about 12% of the aggregate foil production in the region. Europe and the U.S. will be ARMENAL's key markets.

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