Aluminium International Today March April 2021

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INDUSTRY NEWS

DECARBONISATION MINING & REFINING

FOCUS ON: ITALY

www.aluminiumtoday.com March/April 2021—Vol.34 No.2

THE JOURNAL OF ALUMINIUM PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING

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CREATING

THE FUTURE

TOGETHER ,-

Creating the Future through Sustainability We adopt global sustainability targets as a business principle. We develop all our business processes according to environmental, social and governance principles and "Produce the Future Without Wasting It". With our sustainable production and responsible consumption method , renewable energy production and integrated recycling facility, .• we create a more sustainable future together with our bu ine�s

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CONTENTS 1

www.aluminiumtoday.com

2

LEADER

2

NEWS DECARBONISATION

7 10 12

COVER

Editorial Editor: Nadine Bloxsome Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855115 nadinebloxsome@quartzltd.com

INDUSTRY NEWS

MINING & REFINING

FOCUS ON: ITALY

16

Auto low carbon aluminium use

20

Going to zero carbon: A game changer for the aluminium industry

www.aluminiumtoday.com March/April 2021—Vol.34 No.2

THE JOURNAL OF ALUMINIUM PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING

Sales A LU M I N I U M I N T E R N AT I O N A L TO DAY M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1 V O L . 3 4 N O 2

23

Decarbonisation of the building industry

26

Future of aluminium relies on industry shift to sustainable technologies

Advertisement Production

28

Intelligent energy management

30

Jindal Aluminium Limited: Taking strides in sustainable manufacturing

Production Executive: Martin Lawrence Managing Director: Tony Crinion CEO: Steve Diprose

MINING & REFINING

Circulation/subscriptions Elizabeth Barford Tel +44 (0) 1737 855028 Fax +44 (0) 1737 855034 email subscriptions@quartzltd.com Annual subscription: UK £245, all other countries £265. For two year subscription: UK £440, all other countries £480. Airmail prices on request. Single copies £45

ASI Standards: 59 criteria addressing GHG and broader ESG issues

DECARBONISATION

Production Editor: Annie Baker

Sales Director: Ken Clark kenclark@quartzltd.com Tel: +44 (0)1737 855117

Green aluminium is not a state of being, it is a state of becoming

Volume 34 No. 2 – March/April 2021

Sales Manager: Nathan Jupp nathanjupp@quartzltd.com Tel: +44 (0)1737 855027

A new START for the supply chain

33

SUPPLY CHAIN

Cover picture courtesy of Granco Clark

10

Aluminium Industry in Australia

33

37

Unlock hidden value in your supply chain with data and analytics

Supporters of Aluminium International Today

FUTURE-PROOFING 40

37

Future-proofing the aluminium industry

FURNACES

40 43

The optimal solution for furnace tending operations

ALUMINIUM INTERNATIONAL TODAY is published six times a year by Quartz Business Media Ltd, Quartz House, 20 Clarendon Road, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1QX, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1737 855000 Fax: +44 (0) 1737 855034 Email: aluminium@quartzltd.com Aluminium International Today (USO No; 022-344) is published bi-monthly by Quartz Business Ltd and distributed in the US by DSW, 75 Aberdeen Road, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville, PA. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Aluminium International c/o PO Box 437, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437. Printed in the UK by: Pensord, Tram Road, Pontlanfraith, Blackwood, Gwent, NP12 2YA, UK © Quartz Business Media Ltd 2021

RUSSIA UPDATE 43

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Russia hopes for recovery of global demand for aluminium this year

AUTOMATION 47

SEARCH FOR ALUMINIUM INTERNATIONAL TODAY

AiRC-1000 sets the standard for smelters

ITALIAN SUPPLEMENT 49

METEF: Metef Preview

52

It’s time to maximize the value of metals

55

Latest technologies for aluminium ingot by Continuus-Properzi

ISSN1475-455X

Aluminium International Today

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2 COMMENT

Greener Aluminium Online Summit announced

It’s not easy being green A very famous frog had it right... it’s not as easy as it looks being green and in this case, to produce ‘green aluminium’. With a dedicated ‘Decarbonisation’ feature in this issue, it seemed only fitting that we also announce the upcoming Greener Aluminium Online Summit, which will take place on 2nd 3rd June 2021. As the world still gets to grips with live events and travel restrictions remain in place, we thought it best to keep this to a virtual event for now and invite everyone from the comfort of your home offices to join. I was inundated with articles for this feature, which got me thinking that there is a need to discuss this topic on a greater scale and openly. It’s easy to band around the word ‘sustainability’ but are we doing enough together as an industry to ensure we are all on the same pathway to zero carbon? The news pages is in this issue also follow this ‘Decarbonisation’ theme and again, there seemed to be a lot of ‘green news’ and announcements out there, which shows there is now a consistent effort being made to adopt sustainable technologies and develop more efficient production processes, which will affect us all. This issue is full of other interesting features, including a look at bauxite mining and alumina refining in Australia, how data and analytics can unlock hidden value in your supply chain, and a selection of articles focus on the products and solutions offered by Italian manufacturers. nadinebloxsome@quartzltd.com March/April 2021

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The organisers of the Future Aluminium Forum and publisher of Aluminium International Today introduce a new online event, dedicated to presenting sustainable solutions for the aluminium manufacturing industry. As the aluminium industry strives for a more sustainable future, the Greener Aluminium Online Summit will investigate how far along we really are on the

path to decarbonisation and if we’re going in the right direction. Bringing together aluminium manufacturers and environmental solutions providers, the Summit will present the main issues, investments, technologies, and best practice examples from across the supply chain. Sustainability needs to be more than just a buzzword, so this event will invite a range of

experts to give their opinions and advice on how best to achieve this huge decarbonisation task. Comprising of an online conference, virtual exhibition hall, live networking area and A ‘Green Technology Zone’, participants will also have the opportunity to arrange video meetings, share resources and access all the content ‘on demand’ for 30 days after the event.

Find out more on page 60 or visit www.aluminiumtoday.com/greener-aluminium

Rio Tinto launches START Rio Tinto is setting a new standard in transparency and traceability for the aluminium industry with the launch of START, a ‘nutrition label’ for responsible aluminium. START will help customers meet the demand from consumers for transparency on where and how the products they purchase are made. It aims to empower end-users to make informed choices about the products they buy, enabling them to contribute to a sustainable future, and to differentiate between end products based on their environmental, social and governance credentials.

Customers will receive a digital sustainability label – similar to a nutrition label found on food and drink packaging – using secure blockchain technology. It will provide key information about the site

where the aluminium was responsibly produced, covering ten criteria: carbon footprint, water use, recycled content, energy sources, community investment, safety per-

formance, diversity in leadership, business integrity, regulatory compliance and transparency. Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said: “START is a significant step forward for the aluminium industry as the first offering of this kind, setting a new standard on transparency, traceability and responsible production from mine to market. Our vision is that our customers can showcase the sustainability of the aluminium they purchase from Rio Tinto to their consumers, delivering full value from our responsible production.”

Green aluminium for HAI Glencore and Century Aluminum Company have finalised the sale of 150,000 metric tons of Natur-Al™ aluminium over five years to Austrian firm Hammerer Aluminium Industries (HAI). Natur-Al™ products are made with energy from 100% renewable sources at Century’s Norðurál Grundartangi aluminium plant in Iceland. While the product line has been in development over several years it was officially inaugurated in 2020. The aluminium will be supplied to Hammerer by Glencore. Natur-Al™ aluminium has direct CO2 levels below two tonnes of CO2 per tonne of aluminium – one of the lowest CO2 footprints in the world for the metal. The total CO2

footprint is four tonnes per tonne of aluminium, less than one-quarter of the industry average. To achieve these levels requires strict adherence to the highest standards in the sourcing of bauxite and alumina, the exclusive use of green energy from hydroelectric and geothermal sources, and seamless operation of the production process. Rob van Gils, Hammerer Aluminium Industries’ CEO said: “We

are delighted about this partnership that will secure the supply of aluminium produced with one of the lowest CO2 footprints available. As a recycler and remelter the CO2 content of the primary aluminium we buy has a tremendous impact on our overall footprint. This supply agreement is a clear statement that HAI group is not compromising on our commitment to sustainability. Combining Natur-Al™ aluminium with our recycled materials will allow us to produce billets at less than two tonnes of CO2 per tonne of metal. It underlines our ambition to contribute to a better future and that aluminium is part of the solution for the ambitions of the EU Green Deal.” Aluminium International Today

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GREEN NEWS 3

BMW Group: First customer for EGA’s CelestiAL aluminium Emirates Global Aluminium has announced that BMW Group is the first customer for EGA’s CelestiAL aluminium, made with the power of the desert sun. EGA has supplied metal to BMW Group since 2013 for use in the German carmaker’s engines and other parts. EGA will supply 43,000 tonnes of CelestiAL aluminium to BMW Group per year. Using solar aluminium from EGA will reduce BMW Group’s emissions by 222,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. BMW Group’s annual supply contract with EGA is worth a three-digit million-euro sum. EGA’s CelestiAL metal will cover almost half the annual requirements

of Plant Landshut, the BMW Group’s only production facility for light metal casting in Europe. Last year, Plant Landshut produced 2.9 million cast metal components including engine parts such as cylinder heads and crankcases, parts for electric drive trains, and vehicle body parts. EGA’s CelestiAL aluminium is made using electricity generated at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, located in the desert outside Dubai and operated by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. EGA began production of CelestiAL earlier this month, the first time solar power has been used to produce aluminium commercially worldwide.

Producing aluminium is energy intensive, and generating electricity accounts for some 60 per cent of the global aluminium industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. The use of solar power significantly reduces the emissions associated with aluminium smelting. EGA’s sourcing of solar power from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park through Dubai’s electricity grid is tracked and traced through the use of the International Renewable Energy Certification System. The Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park has a current installed capacity of some 1,013 MW with capacity to eventually reach 5,000 MW by 2030.

ALVANCE: GREENALUMINIUM plans underway at UK site ALVANCE Aluminium, part of sustainable industry leader GFG Alliance, will begin consulting on plans for a new £94m recycling and aluminium billet plant at its Lochaber smelter nas it develops Fort William’s position as a leading international producer of low-carbon aluminium. A public consultation will be held online for 21 days from 22nd February, including a live consultation event on Thursday 25th February from 3.30 pm –7pm where members of the project team will be available to respond to questions.

ALVANCE announced plans in November for a new recycling and casting facility that will double GREENALUMINIUM production from over 40,000 tonne per annum (ktpa) to over 80ktpa. The plant will produce long, round bars called billets for the domestic construction, building and transport sectors, supplanting some of the current dependency on imports. ALVANCE expects to award contracts to local suppliers including new building works for the facility. The billet, which is destined for both UK and European markets,

will be produced from Lochaber’s already low-carbon aluminium and recycled material, giving it some of the greenest credentials on the market. Once approved, the new integrated business plan and associated developments will secure the long-term future of the Fort William aluminium smelter, safeguarding 200 local jobs and creating 70 new high quality roles. Subject to approvals and any further impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, ALVANCE aims to commence the new development works in 2021 and target full operation by 2024.

ISAL power agreement Rio Tinto has reached agreement on an amended power contract that will allow the ISAL aluminium smelter in Iceland to continue operating with an improved competitive position. The agreement with power supplier, Landsvirkjun, will deliver a more competitive power price and energy flexibility that is mutually beneficial for both ISAL and LandsAluminium International Today

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virkjun. Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement on a power price that, coupled with improved efficiencies we have delivered at the site, makes ISAL more competitive. “This provides a stronger footing to continue operations at the smelter and gives increased se-

curity for the team at ISAL, who have been doing an outstanding job in challenging conditions. We will continue to work to strengthen ISAL’s future in order to keep supplying low carbon aluminium to customers in Europe and North America, and making a significant contribution to Iceland’s economy.”

APPOINTMENTS Chris Bayliss appointed as ASI Director of Standards Chris moves to ASI from a distinguished career at the International Aluminium Institute, where he played a leading role in a range of collaborative projects, including sector-wide emissions reduction pathways and GHG accounting protocols, occupational health performance measurement tools, the global aluminium material flow model and The Aluminium Story. ASI sincerely thanks Krista West for her significant contributions as Director of Standards since September 2019. Alumobility Names Mark White Executive Director Alumobility, a non-profit organisation focused on providing innovative implementation-ready solutions to advance the adoption of aluminium automotive body sheet, announced that Mark White has been appointed executive director. White will lead the organisation, which was recently founded by Constellium and Novelis, providing strategic guidance to the ecosystem’s marketing and technical work streams. He will report to the board of directors. New managing director at Hertwich Engineering GmbH On October 1, 2020, Gerold Keune (Dipl.-Ing.) joined Hertwich Engineering GmbH, a company of SMS group, based in Braunau am Inn, Austria, as the new managing director and head of sales.

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Aluchemie to initiate close-down Owners Rio Tinto and Hydro have come to the joint decision of starting a consultation process to permanently close Dutch anode producer Aluchemie, as the highly competitive market situation and significant reinvestment needs in the facility make continued operations unviable. Aluchemie was opened in 1966

and has a total production capacity of more than 500,000 tonnes per year, but annual production has been reduced to 215,000 tonnes as four out of its seven anode baking furnaces have already been permanently closed. The close-down process will include consultation processes with employee representatives and un-

2021 DIARY April 27th - 29th ions, as well as key external stakeholders such as environmental authorities and landowner regarding the site remediation process. The plant is currently expected to close toward the end of 2021 and follows a thorough strategic review to explore alternatives to closing Aluchemie.

RUSAL strengthens auto offering

RUSAL has agreed to acquire the business and assets of the Aluminium Rheinfelden GmbH out of insolvency. Aluminium Rheinfelden’s track record of innovation and R&D,

combined with its technical expertise (the company owns over 70 patents) and deep connections into the automotive sector, will help reinforce RUSAL’s position as the supplier of choice to its international network of automotive customers. As part of its long term growth strategy, RUSAL intends to rebuild the businesses and restore the majority of existing roles, unlocking the potential of its R&D platform

to deliver a new generation of sustainable aluminium solutions that can be produced on an industrial level in combination with RUSAL’s smelters. The Company aims to grow Aluminium Rheinfelden’s alloys production back to 30kt of output on an annual basis. The takeover is subject to approval by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the German Federal Cartel Office.

ElvalHalcor new lacquering line After having successfully commissioned a new modern four-stand tandem hot rolling mill on December 2020 and having ordered a state-of-the-art six-high cold rolling mill according to the Company’s second phase investment plan execution, ElvalHalcor has decided to expand the infrastructure of the lacquering and pre-treatment lines at the Company’s facilities at Oinofyta, Greece. This investment comes as a response to the recent increased

market demands, the result of international trends for lightweight, recyclable aluminium packaging and durable, safe, recyclable and

friendly to the environment building and construction material. The new lacquering line, operating at 200m/min and capable of producing 2,050mm wide aluminium coils will enhance the production capacity of the aluminium rolling division. The new coating line confirms that the aluminium rolling division is committed to sustainable and innovative aluminium solutions for the beverage and food packaging markets.

Materials team up The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL), European Aluminium, the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) and Metal Packaging Europe, members of the Permanent Materials Coalition, welcome the plenary adoption of the European Parliament’s own-initiative report on the European CommisMarch/April 2021

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sion’s Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) 2.0. A cornerstone of the European Green Deal, the CEAP 2.0 is designed to strengthen the EU Economy, protect the environment and ensure that the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible. The coalition has taken note of the European Parliament’s call

International SAP Conference for Mining and Metals * VIRTUAL * www.tacevents.com/uk/eventsuk/international-sap-conferencefor-mining-and-metals

June 2nd - 3rd Greener Aluminium Online Summit * VIRTUAL * Bringing together aluminium manufacturers and environmental solutions providers, the Summit will present the main issues, investments, technologies, and best practice examples from across the supply chain. www.aluminiumtoday.com/ greener-aluminium

8th - 10th NorCast 2021 The Nordic Aluminium Casthouse Conference returns for the 15th edition. Held in Norway www.norcast-seminar.com

10th - 12th METEF Expo of customised technology for aluminium, foundry castings and innovative metals Held in Bologna, Italy www.metef.com

September 1st - 2nd ALUMINUM USA A weeklong leading industry event covering the entire value chain from upstream (mining, smelting) via midstream (casting, rolling, extrusions) to downstream (finishing, fabrication). Held in Kentucky, USA www.aluminum-us.com

22nd - 24th on the Commission to propose product-specific binding targets for recycled content but believes that this demand-side driver is not effective for materials such as aluminium, glass and steel, which already have well-functioning markets for high-quality recycled materials.

6th Global Aluminium Foil Roller Conference (GLAFCO) The most important worldwide gathering of the aluminium foil production sector. Held in Istanbul, Turkey www.global-alufoil.org

For a full listing visit www. aluminiumtoday.com and click on Events Diary Aluminium International Today

25/02/2021 06:43:04



contact our growing sales team to discuss the future of melting aluminium

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DECARBONISATION 7

A new START for the supply chain Rio Tinto recently announced that it is setting a new standard in transparency and traceability for the aluminium industry with the launch of START, a ‘nutrition label’ for responsible aluminium. Nadine Bloxsome* spoke to Tolga Egrilmezer* about what this means for the company and the sustainability efforts of the sector. Q. Congratulations on the launch of START - another sustainability milestone for Rio Tinto! The programme looks like it is geared to supporting end users, which is great to see. What has the reaction been so far from this sector and how much influence have end-users had in the development of START? A. The reaction has been great so far. Today’s consumers want to know more about the products they buy. This is true for food products, for clothes, and materials are no exception. START is all about empowering customers and consumers with information so they can make informed decisions about sustainable products. With this nutrition label for responsible aluminium, Rio Tinto is setting a new standard in transparency and traceability for the materials industry. Our goal is to demonstrate to customers

and end users that aluminium is the right material to meet their needs. Our hope is START will help with advocacy for aluminium as the material of choice for end products. Q. I developed the Future Aluminium Forum back in 2018, which is a key industry event dedicated to assisting aluminium manufacturers in applying and implementing digital technologies. Blockchain has been a big talking point at these events! How important would you say Blockchain is when it comes to developing sustainable solutions in our industry? A. One of the greatest advantages of using blockchain technology is that it allows us to bring sustainability information to our customers faster and in a secure way. With START, our customers will be able to access a Sustainability Label for each

*Editor, Aluminium International Today **Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Rio Tinto Aluminium International Today

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8 DECARBONISATION

shipment of aluminium from operations managed by Rio Tinto, providing environment, social and governance information across 10 key criteria in one simple click. A faster informed industry can position aluminium quicker to the end users. This is designed to help customers grow demand for aluminium and also empower the end users with the green credentials and the stories attached with it. Q. Are there any other areas we could be using blockchain or digitalisation to improve our efficiency in this area and reach targets/goals? A. Rio Tinto is pioneering the use of blockchain across a number of areas. In 2019, our colleagues used blockchain to facilitate the first fully integrated paperless trade in iron ore which streamlined the process from a six days to 24 hours. The pandemic made us further realise the importance of providing digital interfaces in supply chain such that our end users are always able to get their products in a seamless manner. In 2020, we brought to customers Rio Track, which allowed them to view their shipments in real time. Blockchain really does open a lot of possibilities to help our end users make informed and faster decisions regarding which material serves them well for their targets. Q. The sustainability label will cover ten criteria… How are these measured/monitored and are they achievable for all? A. START builds on the existing assurance ecosystems that have been developed by Rio Tinto and industry associations in recent years, as well as on ground breaking partnerships with customers. � In 2016, we launched the industry’s first certified low carbon aluminium, RenewAL. � In 2018, Rio Tinto became the first company to receive certification from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). � In 2019, we announced the use of the first zero carbon aluminium being used by Apple for their product. ELYSIS, our joint venture with Alcoa, supported by Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec, is working to further develop a revolutionary smelting technology free of direct carbon emissions. � And in 2020, we announced our ground breaking partnership with Anheuser Busch InBev, which just last month saw the launch of their most sustainable, low carbon can in a pilot for Michelob ULTRA. March/April 2021

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We were already measuring the metrics corresponding to START’s ten criteria for internal purposes, or in support of ASI certification. For example, the START sustainability label can tell you what amount of water was used to produce each ton of aluminium, how much recycled content it had, how often injuries happened at the site where the aluminium was smelted, what is the percentage of women in senior management roles at the company, etc.

Q. In your opinion, do you think the industry should take on a more collaborative approach when it comes to sustainability and share challenges/experiences? A. We fundamentally believe that the real competition for aluminium is not within aluminium. It’s not about who can pat themselves about our low carbon footprint. The real competition is outside, with other materials like plastics, and as an industry, we need to articulate the good stories we have and help our end users with the material decision making process. Q. Will the sustainability advisory service help in this way? How will you support customers with this service? A. We are committed to support our customers in leveraging START in their conversations with their own customers and their investor base about sustainable supply chains and ESG. For example, START Enhanced will provide customers with access to a sustainability advisory service that includes support on documentation that is required for green financing arrangements.

Q. What will end users be able to do with this ‘nutritional’ information? Is it primarily for them to be able to make an informed decision on the aluminium they purchase or to enable them to promote their greener aluminium choices in their products? A. START is about providing customers with transparent and traceable information on how our aluminium products are made. Not only does it hand the sustainability credentials right in the hand of our end users, it also shows provenance of our products from our mines to customers. START is about empowering a sustainable future for our customers, their customers, and for the consumer of the products containing aluminium, because we think a better-informed aluminium industry can make better decisions.

Q. Is there also a market for making this label appeal to consumers, not just end-users? For example, should we be doing more to highlight to the person in the supermarket buying their aluminium can product that their product is a green choice? A. Our vision for START is that customers can showcase the sustainability of the aluminium they purchase from Rio Tinto to consumers. This can deliver full value from our responsible production and empower consumers to make responsible decisions about the materials and products they use every day. Q. What is next for Rio Tinto in its sustainability efforts? A. The next step for us will be to work and partner with our customers and end users to maximise the value from START for them. We are excited to be on this journey with our customers, and we are committed to working with them and engaging with others across the aluminium value chain, contributing to climate action with a new, more sustainable product, to empower a sustainable future. We are a firm believer that partnerships with customers and end users help accelerate the sustainability journey ecosystem wide. What matters to them, matters to us. Hopefully, START will help solidify the aluminium story against materials like plastic. � Aluminium International Today

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More Info:

ventas@rodabell.com www.rodabell.com

SLAB CASTING LINE 2

1 3

4

METAL FLOW REGULATION:

CASTING LAUNDER / CASTING TABLE: 1

- Laser sensor technology for metal level control - Pin position actuators

- Automated casting launder (hands-free casting) - Integrated preheating equipment - Automatic lids - Fused silica refractories (low density) - Thermocouples integrated for Temp. monitoring

- Centralized electrical outlet - Improved control software

- Cooling system to prevent bending/distorsion

CASTING TOOLING:

CASTING CONSUMABLES: - Pin and spouts - Spout seat

- Platform & Bottom block support - Bottom blocks & Plugs machining - Casting table (tilt-able or powered travel bogie systems) - Casting molds - Tooling spare parts

- Heated pin package available - Ring retainer (FRR Fiber Reinforced Refractory) - Combo bags (Thermo-Formed & regular version)

2. CERAMIC FOAM FILTER SYSTEM:

rollup2018-imprenta.indd 1

3 DEGASSING SYSTEM:

4 CASTING CYLINDER:

- CFF lining castridge and insulation kit

- Vessel cartridges and insulation kits

- Single acting

- Air based preheating system - Electrically powered lid - Safe draining mechanism - Ceramic Foam Filter available in all sizes and porosity levels - Mechanical lock-out system for safe filter assembly & removal

- Heating systems - Degassing rotor/shaft - Lid lifting/turning system - Platform access for drossing operations & rotor replacement

- Internal anti-rotation rod guide system - Integrated torque limiter - Minimum rod deflection guaranteed - Long life piston rod coating - Specially designed hidraulic Power unit control - Control loop for casting speed regulation

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10 DECARBONISATION

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Green aluminium is not a state of being, it is a state of becoming By Chris Bayliss*

What is the greenest aluminium? In truth, it’s the approximately 2 quintillion (2*10^18) tonnes in the earth’s crust; never mined, never becoming a product, the vast majority of which will never be accessed by or accessible to humans. All of the 1.4 billion (1.4*10^9) tonnes of metal that has ever been produced (80% since 1990), all of the one billion that is currently in use in the global economy, all of the 400 million tonnes “lost” from the system in the last 150 years, all of the 65 million tonnes of primary and 20 million tonnes of recycled aluminium produced last year - all of that has a footprint. An environmental (and socio-economic) impact on the world around it – much of it positive, particularly with respect to the services it provides humankind through application in products. But aluminium also has its challenges and the potential to be “part of the problem”. It is tempting to reduce such impacts down to a single metric, allowing simple comparison (by customers, consumers, regulators, investors and other stakeholders) between virtuous and impactful metal sources, but such routes ignore the fact that environmental impacts themselves are neither simple nor static. Recycling, while requiring less resources than primary aluminium, brings with it its own environmental risks. Carbon footprints tell you something about relative emissions intensity of products, but ignore to some extent other key environmental issues of our time – biodiversity loss, water scarcity, waste management, impacts on human wellbeing; a 2021 datapoint is a lagging indicator, it tells you about what happened in the past, not what is being aimed for in the future There is no doubt that climate change is top of the agenda – for the aluminium sector and for the world. It is not the only issue, but it is up there. And the

sector, depending essentially on whether: 1. you are producing primary or recycled metal and 2. what source of power is used to reduced alumina in a smelter. However, aluminium is not just being compared to itself, it competes with other materials – higher density materials which have lower emissions per tonne of production, in general. Allowing others to wrongly assess sustainability based on production impacts only – ignoring the benefits of aluminium in use – risks the answer to the question ‘what is the greenest aluminium’ being ‘steel’!.

solution to climate change is mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions – significant and rapid reduction in emissions, combined with removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by the second half of the century. Against this backdrop, there is a tendency to measure the verdancy of aluminium in terms of carbon emissions, with a threshold value for green versus other. Carbon footprints are (relatively) easy to measure and compare (at least compared to other environmental indicators) and for aluminium there is a broad range in such emissions across the

Chris Bayliss

So let’s assume that customers and other stakeholders are looking to differentiate, between and within materials, and they are using carbon to do that. So, what should they (and the aluminium sector) focus on in order to drive change? This is one of the questions that the International Aluminium Institute’s GHG Pathways Working Group has been grappling with for the last two years. If one of the main differentiators is between primary and recycled metal, then

*Deputy Secretary, International Aluminium Institute (soon to be Director of Standards, Aluminium Stewardship Initiative) March/April 2021

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DECARBONISATION 11

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it makes sense for customers to demand higher recycled content in the metal delivered. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough recycled metal to meet all the demand today or in the future. IAI analysis indicates that demand for aluminium will grow by 50 to 80% by 2050, supplied by both recycled and primary metal sources. Collection rates of end-of-life products are currently at 71% having increased from 64% over the past ten years, Hence, there are still significant opportunities to increase the collection, sorting and recycling of aluminium scrap, reducing the need for primary metal. However, even with further improvements in collection, the long lifetimes of durable aluminium products (and increasing demand on the back of a growing population and a broader range of applications) mean that there will not be enough post-consumer scrap to meet demand alone, so primary metal production will continue to be required until at least the second half of the century. So how do we drive change in the primary industry, which is responsible for 95% of the whole sector’s current 1.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions?

time to deliver (along with assessments and mitigation of other non-carbon related risks. The lowest carbon footprint currently achieved from cradle to gate (all the emissions from mine to cast aluminium ingot) is currently between 4 and 5 tonnes of Coe2 per tonne of metal – the global average is 16.5 t CO2e/t Al. 75% of the primary metal produced every year is above 8 t CO2e/t Al. In order to align with Paris Agreement goals of well below 2 degrees, the global average carbon footprint will need to be 2.5 tonnes per tonne in 2050. No aluminium producer in the world today achieves that level and so we will all need to work towards this goal, through significant investment in existing and developing technologies, as well as their deployment of new technology across most existing and all new capacity. Green aluminium is not a state of being, it is a state of becoming – it is an objective for the sector as a whole and it is an objective that encompasses a wide range of sustainability goals that will need to be met if the aluminium industry is to play a role in becoming part of the solution for a sustainable and resilient world. �

With the major source of emissions being energy supply, for the many primary producers not accessing hydro power, such reductions will mean significant adjustments in their energy supply (for purchasers of electricity in the grids they access. For self-generators, which make up 2/3 of supply, in decarbonisation of their power stations, via renewables or carbon capture, utilisation & storage). These are pathways which require unprecedented investment and will take

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ASI Standards: 59 criteria addressing GHG and broader ESG issues By Dr. Fiona Solomon* and Thad Mermer** The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s (ASI) certification program was developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process and is the only comprehensive voluntary sustainability standard initiative for the aluminium value chain. It is designed to drive responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium through uptake of the standards throughout the industry. More information on all the topics discussed below at aluminium-stewardship.org. ‘Low carbon’ aluminium In recent years, aluminium producers have debuted a range of low-carbon aluminium offerings, either based on the energy mix of their smelting, or on the proportion of recycled content. While the management and reduction of GHG emissions is a critically important issue for aluminium with regard to climate change and attaining the Paris Agreement target, it is not necessarily the priority impact area of every stage of the aluminium value chain (Fig 1). In ASI’s view, a move toward increased sustainability in the aluminium sector requires a broader perspective and a whole of supply chain approach.

chain issues, including biodiversity management, Indigenous People’s rights, waste management, gender equity, material stewardship, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Fig 2). Since the launch of the ASI certification program in December 2017, ASI’s members have been actively certifying the management practices at their operations along the entire value chain. As of February 2021, 75 ASI Performance Standard certifications have been achieved, covering more than 180 facilities, from bauxite mining to industrial users, located in 40 countries across all world regions. The ASI Chain of Custody Standard creates a clear and verifiable link between a company’s sustainability performance at a production facility with its material inputs and outputs. This makes it possible to understand the sustainability credentials of products, and enables suppliers, customers and consumers to collectively drive better practices through their sourcing choices. The existing 31 ASI Chain of Custody (CoC) Certifications extend from bauxite extraction through to downstream manufacturing sectors, meaning that the flow of ASI-Certified

material from mine to final product is now possible. After three years of implementation of the ASI Standards, their influence is being felt in practice. ASI Industrial User Members have begun to specify ASI Certified Aluminium in their sourcing requirements, which has encouraged upstream producers to seek and achieve ASI Certifications. Further downstream, ASI’s onproduct logo now appears on dozens of products on retail shelves in a number of international markets, extending awareness of the ASI program to consumers and providing information that could influence purchasing decisions. The ASI Standards Revision Building on ASI’s implementation experience, and as part of a regular cycle of review, ASI is currently undertaking a major Standards Revision process. During 2020-2022, ASI is undertaking to revise all of the six ASI Documents – the Performance Standard and Guidance, Chain of Custody Standard and Guidance, Assurance Manual and Claims Guide. The Revision will provide the opportunity

Beyond GHG to sustainability Sustainability encompasses a range of topics and risks, each of which have varying materiality to each stage of the global aluminium value chain. ASI’s Standards recognise this and have been designed to support responsible practices and sourcing by all relevant value chain actors. The Standards take a life cycle view on the production, use and circularity potential of aluminium to identify and address environmental, social and governance (ESG) key issues, also understanding the interconnections between these. This approach aims to move individual actors and cumulatively the sector as a whole to become more sustainable. Fig 1. ASI Performance Standard V2 (2017) Priority issues at each value chain stage

Increasing and improving responsible practices and sourcing The ASI Performance Standard’s 59 criteria address priority aluminium value *CEO, ASI **Communications Manager, ASI March/April 2021

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5: GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS PRINCIPLE

Fig 2. ASI Performance Standard V2 (2017) Three categories, eleven principles, 59 criteria

to clarify and improve ASI’s certification program based on: � implementation experience and identified improvement areas, � stakeholder feedback and evolving expectations, and � good practice approaches in certification programs and data governance.

ASI’s GHG Emissions criteria Bringing the focus back to the GHG criteria in the current ASI Performance Standard, certified entities are required to address emissions through public disclosure of GHG emissions and energy use on an annual basis, publish of timebound GHG emissions reduction targets and implementation of a plan to achieve these targets, and there are several criteria specific to smelters owing to their energyintensive processes (see Fig 3). In the newly proposed GHG Emissions criteria text, the existing requirements of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) criteria noted above on the disclosure of material GHG emissions, management system and operating controls remain. However, many of the existing criteria have been re-written to provide for an overall stricter standard in relation to GHG emissions reduction through the following new requirements: � The existing emissions intensity threshold of 8t/t for aluminium smelters for Scope 1 and 2 emission types has been revised to also now include Scope 3 emissions, which equates to 12t/t for primary metal � All aluminium smelters are required to establish a GHG emissions reduction plan that is consistent with a ‘below 1.5

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degree warming scenario’ � All smelters must also demonstrate minimum emissions reduction requirements � All Entities will be required to develop an emissions reduction pathway that includes intermediate reduction targets � A requirement for all certified Entities to reduce GHG emissions over time � A requirement for all certified Entities to publicly disclose their GHG emissions reduction performance � All publicly disclosed GHG emissions data must be independently verified. In the current absence of an internationally accepted methodology that is compatible to all Members throughout the aluminium supply chain, the criteria will not require certified Entities to commit to a single methodology when developing science-based targets and reduction pathways. Expanded text has also been proposed for the Chain of Custody, Principle 9 on Issuing CoC Documents. Specifically, Criterion 9.3 on Sustainability Data, which refers to optional sustainability data that can be included in ASI CoC Documents, includes new text to suggest providing data on the average (preferably cradle-togate) carbon footprint of the CoC Material in tonnes CO2–eq per metric tonne ASI Aluminium, including methodology. Public consultation on proposed criteria revisions The Revision process includes multiple rounds of public consultation, which provide opportunities for all members and stakeholders to submit feedback (see Fig 4 with Revision timetable). The current 60-day public consultation runs

Principle: Recognising the ultimate objective established under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Entity is committed to reducing its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from a lifecycle perspective to mitigate its impact on the global climate. 5.1. Disclosure of GHG emissions and energy use. The Entity shall account for and publicly disclose material GHG emissions and energy use by source on an annual basis. 5.2. GHG emissions reductions. The Entity shall publish timebound GHG emissions reduction targets and implement a plan to achieve these targets. The targets shall cover the material sources of Direct and Indirect GHG Emissions. 5.3. Aluminium Smelting. An Entity engaged in Aluminium Smelting shall: a. Demonstrate that they have put in place the necessary Management System, evaluation procedures, and operating controls to limit the Direct GHG emissions. b. For Aluminium smelters in production up to and including 2020, demonstrate that the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions from the production of Aluminium is at a level below 8 tonnes CO2-eq per metric tonne Aluminium by 2030. c. For Aluminium smelters starting production after 2020, demonstrate that the Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions from the production of Aluminium is at a level below 8 tonnes CO2- per metric tonne Aluminium. Fig 3. ASI Performance Standard V2 (2017) Principle

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Fig 4. ASI Standards Revision process schedule and opportunities for stakeholder involvement

from March 1st until April 30th, 2021. All revision documents and related revision process information are accessible from the Revision web page of the ASI website. As part of our consultation period outreach activities, ASI has held a webinar

to summarise the proposed revisions on which we are seeking feedback, the recording of which has also been made available on our Revision web page as a resource for interested stakeholders. We encourage all stakeholders in

the aluminium value chain to provide their valuable input and insights as we collectively work to address the lessons learned to date, and the challenges that still lie ahead of us to create a sustainable aluminium value chain. �

How to get involved out more about ASI Certification: https://aluminium-stewardship.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ASI-Certification-Overview-Feb2018.pdf

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It isn’t surprising that a push for more sustainable, lower carbon footprint products has been supportive of greater use of aluminium, including “green” or low carbon aluminium, by the automotive sector as well as other consumer facing aluminium end use markets. “Aluminium is the material of choice for the automotive industry as automakers continue to build lighter, more sustainable vehicles and reduce their overall carbon footprint,” Ganesh Panneer, Novelis North America’s vice president for automotive, declared. This is not surprising given that it

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recycling perspective. “And even though it is already the low carbon alternative, the aluminium industry, like everyone else, has embraced the fact that it needs to decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption and is constantly making strides to reduce its carbon footprint, including through some new anode technologies that are starting to come onboard,” Dobbins said, noting that offering “green” or low carbon aluminium products is another way for some producers to differentiate themselves.

where it plans to start full-scale R&D work in the first half of 2021. “Aluminium has been an increasingly important part of the automotive market for the past 45-plus years,” Dobbins said, noting that while it is already the second most used material for automotive applications, its use is expected to increase as automakers increase their emphasis on vehicle energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions. He said that while aluminium is also the fastest growing automotive material, according to a recent study that Ducker conducted for the Aluminum Association,

2021 Nissan Rogue

Auto low carbon aluminium use By Myra Pinkham*

is lower carbon compared with other automotive raw materials, Tom Dobbins, president and chief executive officer of the Aluminum Association said, noting that several independent, third party studies confirm that automotive aluminium offers the lowest carbon footprint with at least 10 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than steel – even advanced steel – making it the most sustainable, and least carbon intensive, choice, whether from a fuel economy, full lifecycle emissions or

One of the most recent moves in that direction was the mid-January announcement by EN+ Group – the parent company of UC Rusal – of its intention to both achieve net zero emissions by 2050 as well as to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 35 percent by 2030. This comes after the Elysis inert anode joint venture of Alcoa and Rio Tinto announced in December that it completed construction of a new research & development (R&D) center in Quebec,

it is estimated that the aluminium content of the average North American light vehicle will grow to about 514 pounds per vehicle by 2026 – a 12 percent increase from 459 pounds per vehicle in 2020. He attributed this to both increased penetration in closures, the body-in-white and the chassis as automakers look to meet long-range carbon emissions goals, as well as the ramp up of electrified powertrain and battery electric vehicle platforms.

*US correspondent March/April 2021

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General Motors, for example, announced late in January that, as part of its goal to be carbon neutral by 2040, it plans to phase out its internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles and solely produce electric vehicles (EVs). President Biden also signed an executive order to make the entire federal auto fleet – over 600,000 vehicles – electric. That, according to Geordie Wilkes, head of research for Sucden Financial, will be positive for aluminium, including low carbon aluminium, promoting its use not just in the vehicle itself, but also in some cases in the battery.

dropped out of litigation that was initiated by the Trump administration to block California from exerting independent authority to enforce tougher fuel efficiency and greenhouse emissions standards, Gregory Whittbecker, an advisor to CRU’s North American aluminium group, pointed out. What impact that will have upon aluminium and low carbon aluminium demand is still somewhat uncertain. “Actually, I think that environmental regulations are more moved by the market than the market being moved by regulations,” Dobbins said. “I think that

“Novelis has also enjoyed a closed-loop recycling partnership with Ford for many years – one that currently processes enough aluminium scrap each

month to produce 34,000 F-150 pickup trucks

Ganesh Panneer, Novelis North America’s vice president for automotive This, he said, comes as the Biden administration is expected to establish more ambitious fuel economy standards than the US has had in place after Trump rolled back those set by the Obama administration. “But to date there haven’t been any concrete proposals about what they will entail,” Wilkes said. “But I would assume that they will go back up to, or even go beyond, the levels set under Obama.” Another potential sign of a shifting of the winds is the fact that General Motors and some other automakers have recently Aluminium International Today

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automakers tend to be more responsive to consumer demand and market dynamics than what they believe that Washington is going to do,” he explained. “Largely because of its light weight, aluminium is advantageous for both ICE vehicles (because of better gas mileage and lower operating cost) and EVs,” Dobbins said. Whittbecker agreed, explaining that for EVs one of the biggest challenges is the impact of the weight of their battery packs upon the vehicles’ range between charges with automakers looking to extend that range from 300 to

400 miles currently to 500 to 600 miles. “That favours the use of aluminium in the body structure and in the battery box housings,” he maintained. There is no doubt that there has been increased interest in what has been termed low carbon, or green, aluminium in recent years even though, according to Wilkes, at least at this time, there isn’t any real definition, confirmed metric, methodology or figure definitively stating at what level of carbon dioxide emissions per tonne that aluminium is considered to be low carbon. “Also, many companies don’t realise that they have actually been using low carbon aluminium for a long time,” Whittbecker said, pointing out that virtually all the aluminium diecastings that automakers use in their engines and drivetrains are just about 100 percent derived from aluminium scrap, therefore avoiding the creation of 95 percent of the carbon inherent in the production of primary aluminium. Wilkes said that there has been more interest in low carbon aluminium from several automakers. For example, BMW recently bought 43,000 tonnes of aluminium produced using solar power as its power source from Emirates Global Aluminum. Novelis, which sells a lot of its aluminium to the automotive sector, is focused on offering aluminium solutions that are as low in carbon as possible, Panneer said, with its main driver being to increase the recycled content of its products, which are currently roughly 60 percent across its business lines with its Advanz™ 5Fs5754 RC product, which contains up to 75 percent recycled content, being an integral part of Jaguar Land Rover’s REALCAR program in Europe and has begun to be used by a North American automaker as well. Panneer said auto-related closed loop recycling has been growing. For example, Nissan intends to use a closed loop recycling system for aluminium parts for its 2021 Rogue. “Novelis has also enjoyed a closed-loop recycling partnership with Ford for many years – one that currently processes enough aluminium scrap each month to produce 34,000 F-150 pickup trucks,” he said. “There are clearly several benefits to closed loop recycling,” Dobbins said, including that its it helps keep the aluminium used by automakers in circulation despite the challenge in doing so given all the different aluminium alloys they use for various applications. Other aluminium producers are also making products that have gained interest by automakers, Wilkes pointed out. For example, Hydro has also March/April 2021

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Novelis - Guthrie KY

“Aluminium has been an increasingly important part of the automotive market for the past 45-plus years” Tom Dobbins, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aluminum Association developed its 75R which contains at least 75% post-consumer scrap and Innoval Technology, a partnership of leading research universities and auto producers, is developing 100 percent recycled aluminium products in their REALITY project, which will have a carbon footprint of 0.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per tonne. Also, according to Rosa Garcia Pineiro, its vice president of sustainability, Alcoa has reduced the absolute emissions of its primary aluminium portfolio by 75 percent over the past 20 years through a combination of continued improvement of its operating practices and process control technologies. “Using aluminium, including low carbon aluminium, is a good way for the automotive sector to reduce GHG emission,” Wilkes said, noting that on a lifecycle basis average aluminium intensive vehicles have 12.6 percent less emissions than steel intensive vehicles and by using low carbon aluminium that differential increases to about 17 percent. In fact, he said that using low carbon aluminium has the potential to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to vehicle emissions given that it not only helps with tailpipe emissions but through the whole lifecycle of the vehicle. “With its lighter weight compared with steel, it also helps automakers to increase their vehicles’ fuel efficiency, therefore helping them to be able to market a more sustainable, environmentally friendly product as a whole,” he explained. Given that vehicle lightweighting tends to favor aluminium extrusions, sheet and plate over secondary castings, has resulted automakers using more primary sourced vs. secondary sourced metal. “That is where low carbon aluminium has really March/April 2021

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started to come into play,” Whittbecker said, because they are feeling a need to compensate for the carbon that is inherent in the primary aluminium that they are using. Even though the most improvements in reducing GHG emissions is through the use of more recycled and low carbon aluminium has been in the automotive and other transportation sectors, Wilkes said packaging and some other consumer facing end use markets that have also begun to embrace these products. As far as packaging, this has been supported consumers – particularly millennials – favouring aluminium cans over PET bottles, Whittbecker said, noting that one example of potential low carbon aluminum in this application involves the recently announced partnership between Rio Tinto and beer brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev. The partnership, which entered its pilot phase in mid-January, plans to use primary aluminium from Elysis to produce the can body sheet to be supplied by Novelis which will ultimately be used for the cans for InBev’s Michelob Ultra beer. It has been reported that about 70 percent of InBev’s cans are produced using recycled content. Novelis’ Panneer said that combining this with the use of no-carbon aluminium is a key driver in advancing sustainability. “It’s better for our environment, better for our customers and better for our business.” Another question, however, is low carbon aluminium’s cost. “The impact of the potential premium for low carbon aluminium on its demand has been widely disputed,” Wilkes said, maintaining that he believes there is enough momentum behind the marketing, operational and

reputational value of using low carbon aluminium products to compensate for the impact of its cost being passed onto consumers, especially in more premium, luxury vehicles. The key, according to Whittbecker, is assigning a tangible cost to carbon and determining what low carbon aluminium is worth. He pointed out that the European Union’s Emissions Trading System has been trading carbon allowances for some time and that this year the Europeans could potentially start to define what the value of low carbon aluminium and what at what level it could start to trade at. “The expectation is that the auto OEMs ae not going to fully absorb any incremental costs for producing low carbon vehicles using any low carbon materials,” he said. “Eventually that will affect the selling price of the vehicle.” While at this stage he believes it is still too early to tell what impact the Biden administration will have on aluminium, and low carbon aluminium, use in the automotive and other major end use markets, Dobbins said he believes that the future is very bright. This, Dobbins said, comes as the Aluminum Association is working with several automakers on its updated automotive aluminium roadmap, identifying several vehicle components that could over time be converted to aluminium and as there continues to be a big push for closed loop recycling. “I also expect that we will continue to see growth in aluminium consumption in other end markets, including packaging and construction due to its recyclability, low carbon inputs and corrosion resistance,” he said. � Aluminium International Today

25/02/2021 06:51:28


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Going to zero carbon: A game changer for the aluminium industry By Jerome Lucaes*

Aluminium is the metal of the future to build back better. Light yet durable and almost infinitely recyclable, the metal is a key enabler on the path towards a more sustainable economy and a post-COVID ‘green’ recovery. Its use reduces carbon footprint across a number of key sectors, such as sustainable mobility, packaging, building and construction, aerospace, among others. Policy and regulation have alerted aluminium consumers, who increasingly ask for low-carbon footprint and product lifecycle emissions assessments. This is also driven by evolving end user preferences, where consumers wish to see that the products they purchase are designed with minimal climate impacts. We know from our own research that consumers care about the carbon footprint of the products they buy; 60% of UK consumers care about buying products with a low carbon footprint, compared to 56% of German and 53% of US consumers. If information about a product’s carbon footprint was easily accessible, 67% of UK consumers would be more likely to purchase lower carbon products, compared to 61% of German and 57% of US consumers. At RUSAL, the metals business of the En+ Group, we find this particularly important and it is the reason why buyers of our low-carbon ALLOW-branded metal can track the whole production cycle and logistics to confirm the environmental credentials of the aluminium they buy. According to the latest publication by the World Economic Forum’s Aluminium for Climate Initiative, market appetite for aluminium is anticipated to grow by more than 50% by 2050, reaching 298 megatonnes (Mt). This will require an additional 90 Mt of primary aluminium production by 2050. At the same time, the aluminium industry accounts for 2% of global carbon emissions or 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2eq, which is equivalent to all of the

Jerome Lucaes

emissions produced by Japan in a year. Hardly surprising that aluminium has been identified as one of the seven “hardto-abate sectors” where moves to reduce emissions are crucial. Not all aluminium is created equal, however. The average emissions for En+ primary aluminium under ALLOW brand are 2.4 tCO2eq/t Al (at smelter, 2019 data). Equivalent smelter emissions of Chinese aluminium are around 16.2 tCO2eq/t Al; global – 12.6 tCO2eq/t Al. Recycling is clearly key; secondary aluminium production is 20 times less

*Marketing Director, Sustainability, – RUSAL March/April 2021

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carbon-intensive than primary. Secondary metal, however, can only meet about 30 % of current demand; further initiatives, including a combination of recycling, replacing high-carbon with low-carbon primary metal and further R&D (inert anodes, carbon capture and storage, carbon removal, among others) will all be critical in reducing overall industry emissions going forward. The industry is looking at pathways to reduce its footprint by 2050, which includes keeping emissions at smelter to under 2.5t CO2eq/t Al and employing a full value chain approach. However, no company can tackle the paramount task alone. Industry-wide partnerships and cooperation are required to support the decarbonisation of the aluminium sector. Faced with carbon neutrality enshrined in legislation by 2050, those who lag behind may pay a high price in carbon trading and taxation mechanisms. Current price of carbon in the EU is at EUR 30 per tonne of CO2eq, it reaches USD 120 in some countries, such as Sweden. The European Union, as part of its Green Deal, is exploring a carbon-border adjustment mechanism to curb carbon leakage with potential negative impacts for highcarbon aluminium producers’ marginal cost of production. China is developing an emissions trading scheme. Japan is also likely to be looking into this option going forward. South Korea also committed to carbon neutrality. The new USA administration may soon follow the suit. Investors increasingly see high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a clear red flag. Some of the relevant initiatives that have brought investors together around climate action include the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Climate Action 100+, Transition Pathway Initiative, UNEP FI Netzero Asset Owner Alliance, IMF’s call for mandatory climate disclosure (physical risk mispricing in equity markets report) and the EU Taxonomy, adding a layer of mandatory climate disclosures for financial institutions and individual companies. The En+ Group has continuously campaigned for more rigorous carbon transparency and decarbonisation. The Company’s position is detailed in The Green Aluminium Vision. The Group has consistently called upon the London Metal Exchange (LME) to make voluntary carbon disclosure rules mandatory for the LMEPassport and to create a new derivative contract for low-carbon aluminium, giving the needed impetus to spur a genuine low-carbon transition. Back to that consumer research, where it was clear that end users felt manufacturers should be accountable for the carbon footprint of their products – 71% of UK Aluminium International Today

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consumers believe all companies should be obliged to share the carbon footprints of their products with customers; 60% of US and 58% of German consumers feel the same way. It is possible that we see the creation of low-carbon aluminium as a whole new asset class. Pricing agencies have increased focus on differentiating the value of metal based on its carbon content. HARBOR’s ‘green’ aluminium benchmark launched in the US in October 2019 suggested a possible definition of low-carbon aluminium; <4t CO2e/t Al at smelter (at smelter, Scope1&2). Since September 2020, FastMarkets has also led public discussions/consultations on a possible low-carbon aluminium differential (<4t CO2e/t Al at smelter, Scope1&2) to be used in Europe. Carbon footprint is also an essential part of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI)’s standards. The ASI Performance Standard includes two smelter-specific criteria, which include the following: smelters starting production after 2020 must achieve a level of smelter (Scope 1&2) carbon emissions below 8 tonnes CO2eq per metric tonne of aluminium produced, and existing aluminium smelters that were in production before 2020 must achieve the 8 tonnes CO2eq per metric tonne level by 2030. To put this into perspective, the current global average for aluminium ingot production is estimated to be 12 CO2eq per metric tonne. The carbon footprint of ALLOW aluminium production is five times lower than the industry average. Aluminium producers are responding

to these drivers and developments, often voluntarily, with accelerated efforts to calculate, reduce and disclose emissions from cradle to gate. Their main focus remains on sources of power, process emissions, R&D, material efficiency, and circularity. En+ Group has additionally started testing the breakthrough technology of inert anode that will sharply reduce energy consumption and fully eliminate carbon emissions in the smelting process, generating oxygen instead of CO2 emissions. There is no question that the forwardlooking companies will succeed in the net-zero future. Those that innovate and responsibly take the lead in developing breakthrough technologies, such as inert anode, essentially removing carbon from the smelting process/chemical reaction and reducing at-smelter emissions to nearly zero, among other technological developments. I am proud that here at RUSAL this remains at the heart of our ethos. The journey towards decarbonisation of the aluminium value chain is irreversible and well on its way. However, the decarbonisation of the entire aluminium industry will require partnerships and industry-wide coalitions to collaborate, to pool resources and technological knowhow in order to develop low-carbon technologies, and to align on the ways of reducing process emissions and energybased emissions. Collective action is vital for driving the aluminium industry into a ‘greener’ future, enabling better and more sustainable economic development worldwide. � March/April 2021

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DECARBONISATION 23

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Decarbonisation of the building industry With the building industry facing fundamental change, Kevin Widlic* looks at how it is striving to bring down CO2 emissions.

The Lixa office complex in Warsaw, Poland, is designed by HRA Architects and include Hydro CIRCAL

Legislation is forcing the building and construction industry to bring down its greenhouse gas emissions, and quickly. Consequently, building systems suppliers are being asked to adjust and accept a new role. Because not only do they need to develop technically advanced systems that are built to last, they need to manufacture such systems with the lowest-possible carbon footprint. And they need to be able to prove that they themselves are sustainable suppliers. Those who follow the building and construction industry are well aware that the industry needs to bring down its CO2 emissions numbers. In 2018, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the industry accounted for 39% of the world’s energy and process-related carbon dioxide

emissions. This number has not changed much over the past decade. What has changed is that a large chunk of the emissions figure – about 11% – resulted from the manufacturing of building materials and products. This percentage is expected to increase and become a bigger part of the global emissions pie, according to environmental design consultants Atelier Ten, which adds that the amount of emissions generated from building operations will become smaller. The decline in the latter is mainly due to the dramatic reduction in energy consumption in the use phase of buildings over the last 30 years, due largely to new policies, regulatory changes, updated training and the funding of R&D projects. Today, by combining low demand,

efficient installations, off-grid or ongrid renewable energy and the proper management thereof, it is possible to reach values close to zero in new builds or energy rehabilitation. On the other hand, this energy reduction has not followed the same path in the material production phase. Furthermore, because the amount of materials used in an efficient building is greater, its energy content is decisive for the total resulting impact. All this is important because European legislation is requiring all new buildings from 2030 to operate at net-zero carbon, and all buildings to operate at net-zero carbon by 2050. Time really is of the essence, with the decarbonisation of the building and construction industry.

*Senior Digital Editor, Communication & Public Affairs, Hydro Extrusions Aluminium International Today

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24 DECARBONISATION The Økern Portal in Norway will be covered in low-carbon Hydro CIRCAL aluminium

More recycled content and material disclosures In its recent report to the U.S. Aluminum Association, Atelier Ten writes that “some municipalities are now requiring the disclosure of embodied carbon in building materials.” Indeed, material ingredient and environmental disclosures are entering decision-making processes, not least because a handful of sustainable building certification programs are now rewarding teams for seeking out products with disclosure documentation. In other words, the demand for recycled content and material disclosures from building systems suppliers is increasing. This is where aluminium – and lowcarbon aluminium in particular – comes into the picture. Aluminium is a modern material. It is strong, flexible, conductive, durable and light. Its strength enables exceptionally sturdy structures. And due to the low material weight, the structures weigh just one-third of equivalent steel constructions. Further, aluminium products have a long service life. Approximately 75% of the construction products ever made using aluminium are still in use. What’s more, aluminium is easy to maintain: There’s no need for any measures to protect against mold or corrosion, nor does the paintwork require any solvents. Changing to become a sustainable supplier Hydro develops and manufactures aluminium-based building systems. The company delivers doors, windows and facades through its three main brands: Sapa, Technal and Wicona. In a sustainable future, the continued success of these brands will depend on their ability to offer systems that combine top performance with a low carbon footprint. It will also depend on its ability to become a sustainable supplier, through and through. In this work, collaboration will be key, both with customers as well as with its own suppliers. As a fully integrated aluminium company, Hydro has been attacking this challenge from all parts of the value chain, and for several years now. It has addressed the mining of bauxite and refining of alumina, the production of primary aluminium, the high-tech sorting of post-consumer scrap and development of low-carbon aluminium alloys, and the commercialisation of sustainable building systems. Acknowledging that change needs first to occur internally, the aluminium organization imposed sustainability targets for each of its main businesses. March/April 2021

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Hydro Building Systems, one of the units in its Extrusions business area, is tackling the challenge head-on. Already, the unit has identified a number of inside-out actions. These have been grouped under the pillar CO2 Reduction Targets, and divided into: � Greener metal sourcing. Hydro CIRCAL, Hydro REDUXA, recycled aluminium � Greener components sourcing. Recyclable, bio-sourced, low-carbon accessories � Greener production and sites. Energy, water use � Greener transport and packaging. Less packaging, transport route optimization � Greener workplace. Commuting and travel, IT and data

Another area in which the business unit is targeting emissions reductions is in transport, and product packaging. With transportation, distance optimization represents one of the actions within transportation. This includes optimizing routes, using delivery frequency as an example. Changes in truck technology, i.e. moving from diesel fuel to electricity, also will make an impact. Using less packaging, meanwhile, is one of the actions that Hydro Building Systems is already implementing. After a pilot project at one of its plants two years ago, followed by further testing, the business unit is using less plastic and protective covering around its profiles – to approval and acceptance from customers. Other actions are the re-use of packaging, such as gasket rolls, and utilization of more bio-sourced plastic.

Clear improvement targets, with greener production Reducing its own CO2-equivalent emissions by half by 2025 is the No. 1 target of Hydro Building Systems. How will this be achieved? Changing the way the unit is manufacturing its products is one of the ways. As an example, it is switching to green energy contracts at its operations, while it will install on-site photovoltaic panels and wind turbines to continue to bring down their emission of greenhouse gases.

Only sourcing low-carbon aluminium alloys Hydro Building Systems is further along in its goal toward greener metal sourcing. Today, the business unit delivers only the low-carbon alloys Hydro CIRCAL and Hydro REDUXA in its brand-name products. Hydro CIRCAL is the most attractive alloy available to the building market, in terms of carbon footprint. Its footprint of 2.3kg CO2 per kg of aluminium is more than three times lower than the primary aluminium average in Europe and more than six times lower than the Aluminium International Today

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BIG DIFFERENCE IN CARBON FOOTPRINT WITH HYDRO CIRCAL The difference in the carbon footprint between windows manufactured with Hydro CIRCAL, with its low built-in energy level, and windows manufactured with standard primary aluminium, is big. The average carbon footprint of primary aluminium consumed in Europe is 8.6 kg of CO2 per kg of aluminium. Hydro CIRCAL has a footprint of 2.3 kg CO2 per kg aluminium. Consequently, with 20 kg of aluminium in a typical window, Hydro CIRCAL would reduce the footprint by about 125.4 kg of CO2 per window. “The certified production of Hydro CIRCAL is nothing short of a revolution in the building industry,” says Henri Gomez.

global average. This alloy contains no less than 75% post-consumer scrap, taken from dismounted windows and facades. Hydro CIRCAL is verified by DNV GL and confirmed by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). Meanwhile, Hydro REDUXA – a primary aluminium product – offers a carbon footprint of maximum 4.0 kg CO2 per kg of aluminium. This alloy, too, has been verified by DNV GL and confirmed by an EPD. Hydro has achieved this low footprint for Hydro REDUXA by using the same source of bauxite and alumina and by utilising improved-efficiency smelters based on hydroelectric power. Other contributing factors are the improved sourcing of anodes and full control on the steps where it sources the cold metal. Of course, the aluminium itself is only part of the equation. Reduced packaging and the use of recycled polyamide for thermal break strips are also helping the company in its work to manufacture greener end-products to building customers. Employee engagement An interesting element in its drive to become a more sustainable supplier is related to the 3,000 people currently employed within Hydro Building Systems. The unit is working to engage all its people in the change, by having them change their ways. Aluminium International Today

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For instance, at its largest sites, the company is going to financially support employees who come to work by bus or bicycle. It will make electric cars available to staff and will partner with carpooling platforms to encourage employees to share cars to and from work. New rules for business trips and vehicle fleets also are being implemented. “We are trying to change the culture of the organisation, and the way our employees are embracing sustainability is changing the way we act. Sustainability should be one of those things that is ingrained in our minds when we do the things we do,” says Henri Gomez, who leads Hydro Building Systems. Greener collaboration In addition to its internal targets, Hydro Building Systems has put together a pillar for sustainability improvement together with external stakeholders. Because deeper collaboration with architects, consultants, customers and developers is going to result in greener buildings, according to Gomez. This collaborative pillar Greener Together covers: � Greener products � Greener employee � Greener customer � Greener building � Market and global visibility The first includes the design of products

according to eco-design principles, such as optimization, and the evaluation of products throughout their respective life cycles. Using non-harmful components, limiting the emission of the final product during the use phase, and striving for easily dismantlable, recyclable and reusable products are all points considered key in this area. This category also includes manufacturing all systems solutions with the low-carbon aluminium alloys Hydro CIRCAL and Hydro REDUXA. Strong response to Hydro CIRCAL The building and construction industry’s response to Hydro CIRCAL has been impressive. It is clear that the low-carbon aluminium alloy is filling a gap. In the space of one year, since the alloy’s 2019 market launch, Hydro signed more than 100 large building projects using Hydro CIRCAL. The projects are in 10 countries across two continents. “From thriving business hubs to total revamps for iconic buildings, the span of the projects is great. We have been able to demonstrate that it is possible to use post-consumer recycled aluminium and drastically reduce energy consumption, while still producing high-quality products,” says Gomez. Hydro CIRCAL won as Breakthrough Solution of the Year in the S&P Global Platts Metal Awards 2020. Helping make customers and suppliers greener One of the more intriguing categories within Greener Together is related to the green development of customers and suppliers. Already today, Hydro Building Systems has well-established customer networks in several European countries, such as France and Spain. A new ambition is to create working groups with employees and customer network representatives to discuss a better way forward, covering: � What can sustainability bring to customers, also financially? � What do customers need to contribute? � How can Hydro Building Systems audit its customers? “One idea is that we would like to offer ‘greener customer’ certification to customers,” says Gomez. “Being able to deliver low-carbon aluminium systems to our customers is important, and it is going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. But we need to stay in front, and that means a lot more than just being able to deliver low-carbon aluminium. We know the stakes.” � March/April 2021

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Metal recovered form dross

Future of aluminium relies on industry shift to sustainable technologies By James Herbert* Our lives have seen enormous change and technology available to us today wasn’t even dreamed of in the early years of aluminium. Today’s technology has the potential to transform our industry and significantly reduce our impact on the environment too. Modern solutions to many of the industry’s age-old problems already exist. The adoption of sustainable methods of aluminium production will not only drastically reduce landfill and atmospheric pollution but will drive the aluminium industry to become a zerowaste industry. While the aluminium industry is still considered quite rudimentary in many ways, in recent years there has been a shift in the drive to change the status quo. In general, people are more in touch with the environment, and consumers look to brands and corporations to be leaders in sustainability and make it easier for them to make smarter, sustainable

choices. Companies have started to prioritize and advertise green aluminium and 100 percent recyclability, because it’s important to people and our planet. With this shift, we’ve also seen a lot more automation and importance placed on the entire aluminium production process. Instead of identifying the environmental impact of one aspect of the process, the focus is now, and rightly so, on the impact of production and products from cradle to grave. Making the investment in sustainable technologies is not just a trendy marketing ploy; it has real consequences for the environment and businesses. Although regulatory requirements are the driving force behind environmentally beneficial decisions, there are also opportunities to develop or employ eco-friendly solutions, with the same impact, that improve the bottom line. Often projects that are required as a result of environmental

legislation provide no real return on investment, in fact, many provide added maintenance and operational costs. On the other hand, by focusing on reclaiming and recycling metal units, the need for virgin or primary materials is reduced, which in turn has logistical, financial and environmental benefits. As we know, aluminium is not naturally occurring, and it takes large amounts of energy to produce. But once it’s produced, it’s infinitely recyclable. Recycling and reclaiming the maximum available metal units reduces the need to ship in primary virgin material, whilst less is shipped out for further processing or lost to landfill. Ultimately, time and money are saved by not sourcing raw material. The more aluminium is recycled, recovered and saved, the less is needed on sourcing the raw form and the amount of energy used to create it, ultimately reducing the carbon footprint of a given company.

*Global Sales Director of ALTEK March/April 2021

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Because much of the industry still uses older, and some may argue outdated technology and equipment, it’s often thought to be easier or more convenient to implement temporary bandage solutions to problems or challenges. The real solution is not replacing a single machine or piece of equipment with a quick fix, but instead thinking in terms of a suite of technology that will ultimately become a scalable, closed-loop solution with financial and environmental gains each step of the way. In our industry, however, many still see the dross byproduct as a problem to be dealt with, and as a result, many in the aluminium space still consider dross to be a nuisance. While emphasis is typically given to minimizing dross generation, there is less focus on maximizing the metal that can be ultimately recovered. At ALTEK, it’s the key element we work with, and we see it as an opportunity and a resource. If handled correctly, there are so many metal units that can be extracted from dross. If end-to-end sustainable technology solutions are implemented, companies have the ability to extract valuable material themselves and are not beholden to external processors that bring on additional fees and environmental issues. The market adoption of sustainable technology will not happen overnight, but as regulations change and equipment becomes outdated, its time is coming. Currently, the adoption rate greatly varies by geographic location and the environmental policies on a national and regional level. In Europe, for example, salt slag, the final byproduct, is considered a hazardous waste, and for many years, companies have had to adhere to certain policies to meet regulations. With new

ALTEK Melting Solutions tilting rotary furnace technology

technologies available to the industry, companies are now able to consider complete end-to-end sustainable solutions that allow for complete control. Alternatively, in developing countries, where there has been less focus on environmental initiatives, regulations are changing significantly at a rapid pace, and while the industry may be years behind Europe in one sense, companies there have an opportunity to adopt new sustainable technologies and do it right from the beginning. Companies in the United States are interested in sustainable solutions and a zero-waste approach, but do not yet have the environmental regulations that other regions have. A rise in adoption from U.S. companies in the future will shape market decisions worldwide and it is beneficial for the aluminium industry to get ahead of future regulations that will one day become the new standard.

It’s no secret that the aluminium industry is a competitive one. At the end of the day, we will all face many of the same challenges, both in terms of the environment and other competitive industries. There are significant opportunities and advantages to working together. As an industry, we will all benefit from investing in the next generation of leaders and collaborative knowledgesharing to address new challenges and regulations. We will also benefit from working together as competition from other industries is vying to replace aluminium with alternate materials. Most importantly, the industry should not view new regulations and sustainability advancements or goals as a burden. Together, we can look at legislation and best practices coming down the pipeline – while they may create changes in the process, again, there’s a clear opportunity for return. �

ALTEK Latest generation dross press technology

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28 DECARBONISATION

Intelligent energy management A way to enhance green credentials while improving the bottom line?

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause widespread concern across all sectors of the economy, and the aluminum industry is no exception. Due to fluctuating demand and disruptions to the supply chain, as well as the potential for future changes to fiscal policies as governments facilitate economic recovery, businesses will require careful navigation and planning. At the same time, the global decarbonisation framework established by the Paris Agreement as well as the Net Zero ambitions of individual countries will no doubt shape policy-making processes in the years to come, encouraging large energy users to step in and play their part by increasing the efficiency and sustainability of their operations. With energy costs constituting a significant share of all aluminium production costs, there has never been a better time for businesses to review their current energy strategies and look for new opportunities in the transitioning energy markets. Green and holistic energy strategy “The development of a green and holistic energy strategy starts with the assets and the potential flexibility in their energy consumption,” says Wayne Muncaster, VP North America at GridBeyond, a provider of intelligent energy technology for commercial and industrial businesses (pictured above). “Assets commonly used by aluminum smelters and foundries such as arc furnaces, induction furnaces, fans, and rectifiers have, on average, up to 60% of energy flexibility. March/April 2021

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Together with on-site generation and battery storage, they are ideally positioned to participate in grid balancing services that support increased integration of renewables into the grid whilst benefiting the businesses with additional revenue streams,” Muncaster adds. Flexibility, in the context of energy, is defined as the difference between the highest and lowest amount of energy an asset can consume while working as intended without any impact on operational integrity. By identifying the flexibility of equipment and machinery and connecting them to an intelligent energy platform, such as GridBeyond’s Point platform, businesses can participate in energy services such as demand response. Demand response programs help grid operators to balance supply and demand on the energy network. For example, if the forecast for wind generation is higher than that delivered, and supply cannot meet demand, large energy users are called upon to decrease their consumption. This creates opportunities for energy-intensive foundries and smelters as their flexibility to decrease use at crucial times is financially incentivised. By monetising flexibility through grid operators’ programs, metal and aluminum producers can gain quick access to new, long-term revenue streams in order to protect their bottom line and increase savings. At the same time, their participation in balancing services enables grid operators to safely increase the volumes of renewables in the energy

mix, furthering the decarbonisation of the energy network. Ultimately, openness to new technologies will lead the way toward a carbon-neutral future, rewarding those who look for opportunities and embrace innovation. One of GridBeyond’s partners in the UK, a global leader in aluminium production, connected its rectifiers and hydrogeneration assets to the Point platform. As a result, the AI-powered technology has enabled the company to monetise up to 40MW of its energy flexibility through participation in National Grid’s balancing services, benefiting the business with substantial monthly revenue – all without any capital expenditure or impact on operational processes. In addition to financially rewarding participation in the balancing services, intelligent energy technology enables businesses to optimise their energy costs through access to smart tariffs and robotic trading on the wholesale market. AI and machine learning-powered algorithms enhance efficiencies of on-site load, generation, and energy storage, making it possible for businesses to avoid peak charges and to schedule business operations based on the cheapest weekahead, day-ahead, and intra-day energy prices. “The energy network is evolving towards a decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised system. Metal foundries and aluminum smelters all rely on critical power to ensure business continuity, and as such will require a deeper understanding of Aluminium International Today

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the energy markets, their risks, challenges and opportunities. Active participation in the energy markets and forward-thinking strategy have become particularly critical now, during the times of economic uncertainty, as energy technologies can help businesses to recover some of the revenues lost due to COVID-19,” explains Muncaster. Resilience and operational edge The development of a holistic energy strategy is not complete without a reliable mechanism to monitor and control realtime performance of each energy-intensive asset. For instance, smelting is the most energyintensive stage of aluminium production, with each ton of aluminium requiring approximately 15MWh of electricity. This means that any undetected operational malfunction of the smelting furnaces may not only generate inefficiencies but also affect the production processes and business continuity if the asset fails or needs to be replaced at short notice. The businesses’ operational resilience can be further enhanced by taking advantage of intelligent energy technology’s benchmarking and alerting

powers, which identify anomalies in energy consumption to flag potential maintenance requirements. Early fault recognition supports predictive maintenance and retro-commissioning processes to prolong assets’ life cycles, reduce risk of operational downtime, and increase efficiencies. Deloitte estimates that for heavy industry, such as the aluminium and metal businesses, “predictive maintenance can reduce the time required to plan maintenance by 20-50%, increase equipment uptime and availability by 10-20% and reduce overall maintenance costs by 5-10%,” while the McKinsey Global Institute predicts manufacturers’ savings from predictive maintenance could reach $630 billion in 2025. As the world looks toward recovery from the financial and social damage caused by the pandemic, there is a growing consensus among politicians and business leaders that economic recovery needs to be paired with actions to reduce carbon emissions and prevent climate change tragedies. “The answer to both post-COVID-19 recovery and climate emergency lies in technological advancement,” said Wayne

Muncaster. “Full decarbonisation of the economy starts with new technological solutions that help eliminate fossil fuels from the energy networks. This can only be achieved when the grid digitalizes to the point it can manage greater levels of renewable and decentralised generation, integrate technologies such as electric vehicles and unlock flexibility to balance demand and supply. Large C&I business need to support the transition into carbon free economy by becoming active and flexible participants in the energy markets.” About GridBeyond GridBeyond has more than a decade of experience working with large energy users in the UK, the US and Ireland. With an in-depth understanding of assets, GridBeyond helps aluminium and metal businesses play their part in decarbonizing the economy whilst increasing their operational resilience and improving their bottom line through new revenue streams and savings – all without any capital expenditure or impact on operational integrity. � Find out more at: www.gridbeyond.com

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Jindal Aluminium Limited: Taking strides in sustainable manufacturing Fifty years ago, Indian manufacturing was still as nascent as the country itself, establishing roots to build a nation known for its diversity and democratic values. Today, India and the Indian industry are shaping the world for a better future. Similarly, in the landscape of downstream aluminium manufacturing, Jindal Aluminium Limited leads the way in sustainable manufacturing. Transcending an era Over the past decade, India has shifted out of an age where chronic power shortage was the order of the day. Today India is almost energy surplus (last reported energy deficit was 0.6% in the FY ending March 2019), but there was a period when industry and domestic supply had to face challenges resulting in load-shedding as a solution. Conventional energy sources of power generation are also fast depleting; this scarcity has been time and again prioritised at the international level. Harnessing renewable energy on the other hand is one of the most sustainable ways of meeting the increasing electricity demand globally. India has set itself an ambitious target of generating 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. The government wants to meet half of the country’s power consumption requirement with renewable energy resources by then. Jindal Aluminium Limited formed in 1968 has taken a pioneering lead in the use of renewable energy. The company, always visionary in its approach is the first company to set up both wind and solar power plants in Karnataka for its captive use. While the former was set up in 1997, the latter came up in 2013. Generating clean power One of the ways of attaining sustainable growth is to generate electricity by harnessing the potential of the sun, which is both cleaner and promising. Solar has the greatest energy potential among the other sources of renewable energy and the amount of energy that the earth receives. Following the Centre, which announced a solar policy in 2010, various states’ March/April 2021

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government have introduced their policy to encourage the generation of power from renewable energy for a sustainable future. Jindal Aluminium’s first solar power plant was a 10 MW project set up in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka in a record timeframe of 4 months. Here, a solar carpet was laid over 51 acres of rocky non–agricultural terrain making this the first and largest EPC project in Karnataka. This was followed by a 20 MW Solar Power Project in Davangere district in Karnataka, taking the company’s total capacity to 30 MW of solar power energy generation. In wind energy, Jindal Aluminium has over time added generating capacity that currently produces 25.6 MW of wind energy at Chitradurga district in Karnataka, and another 25.2 MW wind energy is generated at Anantapur district in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The beauty of setting up renewable

energy plants is that a clear goal of being self-sufficient and sustainable is met. The renewable energy power plants now not only meet 100% of the company’s requirements but also cater to the requirements of the common man with 50 MW being supplied to the grid annually. Challenges like site complexities coupled with a smart plant design have never hampered plans of execution of a vision of making manufacturing sustainable. The decision has resulted in cost savings and reduced wastage of power, for Jindal Aluminium which has proudly led the way in harnessing the nature in a much cleaner way. Keeping an eye on all the renewable power generated and its consumption are the periodic Energy Audits that Jindal Aluminium commissions. Covering all the major power-consuming areas, the audits allow for observations, leading to reduced power consumption. �

ABOUT JINDAL ALUMINIUM Jindal Aluminium projects are located in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka

Founded by Dr. Sitaram Jindal in the year 1968, Jindal Aluminium is a pioneer in the manufacturing of Aluminium products. With state of the art facility and expertise in manufacturing intricate Aluminium profiles, it is the largest producer of Aluminium extruded and the secondlargest producer of Aluminium flat-rolled products in India. The company believes in building an enriched society brought about by innovation and excellence in the manufacturing of Aluminium products.

Aluminium International Today

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ADVERTORIAL: EQUIBRAS 31

The Eco-Design & 4.0 equipment as key partners in the production of sustainable aluminium By Equibras Since the last few years, the aluminum industry faces many challenges to reduce the CO2 emissions that results from its production. Power consumption has imposed itself as one of the main sources of emissions and aluminum plants are called to mobilize various solutions in order to significantly reduce their overall consumption. To meet such targets, more and more sustainable measures are implemented within many smelters worldwide. However, implementations present a number of challenges as safety and performance of existing installations / processes must not be compromised. New and ever-changing needs arising from this particular context has led Equibras to explore how it could help aluminum plants achieve their environmental goals. As a result, the company has developed two promising solutions that could potentially benefit aluminum smelters on the economic, efficiency and environmental fronts. These solutions are the eco-design and the Equismart, a 4.0 software for the potlining process. THE ECO-DESIGN APPROACH TO REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF EQUIPMENT Collaboration and optimization have been core values of Equibras since its beginnings. Based on 20 years of experience within the industry, the company believes that these values can play an important role in the implementation of sustainable measures. To reflect this concept, Equibras has developed its own ecodesign service. This solution aims to reduce the environmental impacts of the equipment fabrication process. As an example, the service makes it possible for Equibras to design products with refined and sustainable materials. Eco-design helps to reduce emissions in the course of fabrication and therefore improve the equipment efficiency so they have the smallest possible footprint during operation.

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A 4.0 SOFTWARE TO HELP OPTIMIZING THE OPERATION FOOTPRINT Besides the eco-design, Equibras has developed the Equismart, a 4.0 data acquisition system. By delivering key insights during the potlining process, the system helps to maximize collaboration between the operator, the equipment, the materials and the operation itself. User-friendly and interactive, The Equismart is designed to collect various types of data and transmit them in real time. It also features functions for the interpretation and management of the data, which optimizes their processing and analysis. In addition to this, the system makes it possible to: � Measure automatically environment data such as the noise level, the temperature and the air quality � Monitor the usage of the equipment parts to optimize their maintenance � Collect and interpret ongoing operation data, which helps to measure variability in the process

The Equismart helps to simplify the implementation of sustainable measures by making key data more visible, useful and efficient. IN CONCLUSION Equibras is ready to collaborate with aluminum plants to help them meet their environmental targets. Solutions developed opens a world of opportunities in identifying potential improvements more quickly and more precisely. www.equibras.com

25/02/2021 07:06:13


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THE ALUMINA CHRONICLES 33

Aluminium Industry in Australia Worsley Alumina mines bauxite near the town of Boddington and operates an alumina refinery in Worsley; both communities are in Western Australia. (Photograph was provided courtesy of South32.)

Overall Aluminium Industry Australia is one of the few countries in the world that has all three key elements of the aluminium industry: bauxite mining, alumina refining, and aluminium smelter operations. Not only is the aluminium industry an important business segment within the nation, it’s also a major export industry for Australia. Both businesses headquartered domestically within the nation as well as companies headquartered in other countries lead the aluminium industry in Australia. Among the global businesses with operations here include Alcoa, Hydro, Rio Tinto, RUSAL, and South32. Some of Australian aluminium operations are 100% owned by one firm, whilst others are joint ventures. Alcoa of Australia Limited (Alcoa), for example, is owned 60 percent by Alcoa Corporation and 40 percent by Alumina Limited, according to a statement from Alcoa. “The Australian aluminium industry has been operating since 1955 and has significantly contributed to the economy throughout this period,” stated Ms. Marghanita Johnson, Executive Director of the Australian Aluminium Council. “Members of the Australian Aluminium Council include bauxite mines, alumina refineries, aluminium smelters, extruders and distributors, as well as organisations associated with the industry. The industry is a key employer and contributor in the communities in which we operate. The Australian industry employs thousands of people and adds value to Australia’s local, state, and national economies at every stage, as well as having world-class environmental standards. Within the regions in which the industry operates, there is not only high-quality employment at mines, refineries, and smelters, but also the opportunities for local contractors to grow where the industry provides a Aluminium International Today

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baseline of work on which they can then build.” Euromonitor International, a market research provider, has forecasted that overall aluminium production in Australia has grown from (US) $24,653,800,000 in 2019 to (US) $25,242,100,000 in 2020. This represents a forecast of a 2.4% increase. The overall aluminium industry category included, reported Euromonitor International, production of aluminium from alumina, electrolytic refining of aluminium waste and scrap, production of aluminium alloys, semi-manufacturing of aluminium, production of aluminium oxide (alumina), and aluminium wrapping foil. Bauxite Mining “There are currently five large bauxite mines in Australia providing feedstock for the six alumina refineries and the export market,” said Ms. Johnson of the Australian Aluminium Council. “Australia is the world’s largest producer of bauxite. Australian bauxite deposits have high grades and are shallow and relatively easy to mine. The quality of Australian bauxite means there are a number of small new mines now operating in Australia, as well as exploration activities underway for new resources.” Fig 1 Among the major bauxite mines in Australia are ones operated by Alcoa in Huntly and Willowdale, both communities in Western Australia. Rio Tinto operates bauxite mines in Grove, Northern Australia, and in Weipa, Queensland, whilst South32 operates a bauxite mine near Boddington, Western Australia. “The majority, more than 60%, of Australian bauxite is used domestically in Australia’s alumina refineries,” indicated Ms. Johnson. “The balance is exported, with China being the main market. In 2019-20, Australian bauxite production

was 107 million tonnes (Mt). Fortyone Mt of bauxite were exported, and the remainder converted to Australian alumina. This is an eight percent increase in tonnage compared to the previous year.” “Global bauxite demand is forecast to increase at almost four percent per annum,” stated Ms. Johnson. “Australia is on track to continue to produce around a quarter of the world’s bauxite.” Ms. Johnson reported that in 2018, the Australian Aluminium Council, together with the International Aluminium Institute and the Brazilian Aluminium Association, co-authored the Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines. She explained that these guidelines “… share the expertise learned from many decades of sustainable mining practices in Australia with the global industry.” Alumina Refining The six Australian alumina refineries include three operated by Alcoa in Kwinana, Pinjarra, and Wagerup, all three of which are locales in Western Australia. Rio Tinto operates an alumina refinery in Yarwun, Queensland, and is also in a joint venture with RUSAL for Queensland Alumina Ltd, an alumina refinery located in Parsons Point, Gladstone, Queensland. RUSAL reported that this joint venture “… company’s infrastructure includes a wharf and storage facilities on South Trees Island in Gladstone Harbour. Alumina production began in March, 1967.” Fig 2 The sixth refinery, Worsley Alumina, is operated by South32 in Worsley, Western Australia. South32 noted that the bauxite mined by the company near the town of Boddington “…is transported by overland conveyor to the alumina refinery near Collie and turned into alumina powder, before being transported by March/April 2021

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34 THE ALUMINA CHRONICLES

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Fig 1. Bauxite is seen arriving at Alcoa’s Wagerup Alumina Refinery in Western Australia.

Fig 3. Alcoa operates this alumina refinery at Wagerup in Western Australia.

(The photograph was provided courtesy of the Australian Aluminium Council.)

(This photograph was provided courtesy of the Australian Aluminium Council.)

rail to Bunbury Port. It is then shipped to smelters around the world, including South32’s Hillside and Mozal aluminium smelters in Africa.” South32 detailed that the business owns 86 percent of Worsley Alumina, “whilst Japan Alumina Associates (Australia) Pty Ltd owns ten percent and Sojitz Alumina Pty Ltd owns four percent.” South32 indicated in its financial filing for Year 2020 (ending 30 June 2020) that its portion of the saleable production at Worsley Alumina increased by two percent to 3,886kt in fiscal year 2020. Future growth in production is anticipated, according to South32. “As Australia only has four aluminium smelters, with collective capacity of 1.6 Mt primary aluminium, the majority (around 85%) of Australia’s alumina production is exported, predominantly to the Asia Pacific region,” said Ms. Johnson of the Australian Aluminium Council. “Australia alumina production in 2019-20 was 20.5 million tonnes. Australia maintained its position as the second largest producer of alumina and the world’s largest exporter, with 17.9 Mt exported in 2019-20 contributing more than (AUS) $7 billion in export revenues. This is a one percent increase in tonnage from the previous year.” “Australia’s alumina refineries are forecast to continue to produce about 20.5 Mt per annum,” stated Ms. Johnson. “Global demand for primary aluminium is forecast to continue to increase at two percent per annum, driving alumina demand.” Fig 3 Aluminium Smelters The Australian Aluminium Council reported that Australia is the world’s sixth largest producer of primary aluminium metal, with the four aluminium smelters operating in Australia producing 1.57 million tonnes of primary aluminium metal in 2019-2020; of that amount, 1.43 Mt was exported. The aluminium smelters include ones in Bell Bay, Tasmania, and March/April 2021

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produces 585,000 tonnes of aluminium every year, which is 25% of Australia’s primary aluminium. Ninety percent of the product is exported to the Asia-Pacific region.” Among products manufactured by Tomago Aluminium, according to a statement from Hydro, include “… primary aluminium as well as aluminium ingots, extrusion billet, and rolling slabs.” “Smelter location tends to be dictated primarily by the availability and proximity to historically low-cost electricity sources,” said Ms. Johnson of the Australian Aluminium Council. “Location is also influenced by other factors such as transport costs and the availability and quality of other infrastructure. All of Australia’s aluminium smelters are located close to or on the coastline.”

Fig 2. Alumina being loaded at Alcoa’s berth at the Bunbury Port for export from Western Australia. (This photograph was provided courtesy of the Australian Aluminium Council.)

in Boyne Island, Queensland, both operated by Rio Tinto. Alcoa operates a smelter in Portland, Victoria, whilst a smelter operated by Tomago Aluminium Company Pty Limited – a joint venture of several businesses, including CSR, Hydro, and Rio Tinto – is located in Tomago, New South Wales. “Tomago Aluminium is Australasia’s largest aluminium smelter and has been operating 24 hours a day since 1983,” noted a statement from the business. “The owners provide raw materials to Tomago that are converted to aluminium at the Tomago plant. The product is supplied back to the owners who then take it to market…The company contributes (AUS) $1.5 billion annually to the Australian economy, of which (AUS) $800 million is spent locally. The smelter

COVID-19 “Australian bauxite miners were largely unaffected by the COVID-19 lockdowns,” stated Ms. Johnson of the Australian Aluminium Council. “Alumina production in Australia has been resilient amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, with all Australian refineries remaining in operation during the COVID-19 lockdowns. However, members of the Australian Aluminium Council took a number of measures, depending on the regional impacts.” Fig 4 “During the first half of 2020, commodity prices collapsed because of COVID-19,” she explained. “Whilst prices have, in part, recovered, the longerterm future of industry will depend on the rate of recovery of the global manufacturing sector and the impact this has on international demand. Equally, the COVID-19 Pandemic has underscored the importance of domestic manufacturing, supporting a productive and resilient economy. The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the advantages of not only the ability to value add within an almost exclusively domestic supply chain but also the importance of local industry Aluminium International Today

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which provides the underpinning market for our dependent contracting and manufacturing sector. This capability was able to pivot to meet rapidly changing domestic needs such as sanitiser, face shields, and ventilators. The mineral processing and metal manufacturing industries provide not only current regional jobs, but also support the smart Australian jobs of the future.” The Australian Workers’ Union helped in the efforts to keep the aluminium industry operating during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This organisation, which represents many of the workers in the aluminium industry as well as in a number of other industries, issued a statement dated May 5, 2020, explaining that it “…has been working hard to keep the manufacturing sector as a whole operating. Intense lobbying early on during the COVID-19 crisis took place at the state and federal level as there was genuine concern governments would shut down the entire aluminium industry. What became clear was that many politicians had no idea about the complexity and damage involved in closing down a smelter or refinery and had no concept of the impact this would have had on the wider economy.” “This is why we joined forces with the [Australian] Aluminium Council, to call for an exemption from any shutdown and for the industry to be deemed essential,” the statement from the union continued. “Our hard work paid off and we are pretty confident that the threat of governmentmandated shutdown has passed. We also worked with all the major employers to put in place health and safety regulations that will keep our members safe. Temperature checks when starting work, staggered starts and meal breaks, and a sharp increase in cleaning on all sites.” Ms. Johnson noted that the Australian Aluminium Council also worked with a number of other mining industry associations to respond to shortages in the supply of certain critical services and supplies arising out of the circumstances of the COVID-19 Pandemic: “This included collaborating to share inventories for critical mining supplies and services; coordinating scheduling and supply chain activities of those supplies and services; and sharing details of potential suppliers of PPE [personal protective equipment].” “Some of the critical impacts have been around movement of people across inter regional and state borders,” Ms. Johnson continued. “Members of the Australian Aluminium Council put in place strict protocols in place globally, in line with government guidance and directives, and best practice advice from leading medical experts and international health organisations to keep employees, Aluminium International Today

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Fig 4. “One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by washing our hands often with soap and water, or if that is not an option, by using hand sanitiser,” according to a news statement from Rio Tinto. The aluminium smelter operated by the firm at Bell Bay, Tasmania, was one of several Rio Tinto facilities globally, the news statement indicated, that collectively produced more than 7,000 litres of hand sanitiser to help “…keep our employees’ hands germ-free, and also free up supplies for other people in our communities.” (Photograph was provided courtesy of Rio Tinto, 2020.)

contractors, and partners safe. These range from physical distancing to travel restrictions, roster changes and team splits, to flexible working arrangements, rapid screening, and personal hygiene controls. For operational staff, the size of operations and shift patterns naturally limit physical interactions. Our sites already use protective equipment such as respirators, gloves, and face protection, in their day-today work.” Growth Growth is anticipated to continue in the aluminium industry in Australia for years to come. An example is the Wuudagu Bauxite Project, which is in the “… feasibility stage development located near the community of Kalumburu in the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley in the North Kimberley region of Western Australia,” according to Mr. Ryan de Franck, Managing Director, VBX Limited. “The project is being designed to produce a beneficiated bauxite product for supply to alumina refining customers.” Fig 5 Surface mining, road haulage, beneficiation, marine loading, and transhipment are the elements included in this project, noted VBX Limited. The firm detailed that the workforce may include up to 100 people during construction and up to 250 people during operations. Mr. de Franck noted that the Wuudagu Bauxite Project “is being developed by VBX Limited, an affiliate of the Valperlon Group, which is an Australian-based project generation and corporate development group focused on the natural resources sector.” He

explained that “Wuudagu” is both the project’s name and general site location: “‘Wuudagu’…means ‘rocky place’ in the local language.” Approvals for the development of this site are currently expected to be secured in 2022, stated Mr. de Franck: “The development and commissioning period is anticipated to be within 6 months of the approvals being received.” He said that the investment in the Wuudagu Bauxite Project is anticipated to be about (AUS) $50 million. “The potential customers for the Wuudagu Bauxite Project are alumina refineries that are seeking a stable, consistent and long-term supply of highquality bauxite,” reported Mr. de Franck. “This includes existing refineries and new refineries under development who are interested in securing a new source of bauxite or blending Wuudagu material with other existing sources of bauxite. The favourable mineralogy and low silica and impurity levels mean there is strong demand for Wuudagu bauxite material from a large number of potential customers. The Wuudagu Bauxite Project is ideally located in close proximity to a number of potential export markets including China, India, and the Middle East.” As development occurs, Mr. de Franck indicated that VBX is “committed to implementing a responsible resource development at Wuudagu and intend to operate the project in line with the International Aluminium Institute Sustainable Bauxite Mining Practices which are globally recognised as industry best practice. There are a number of initiatives we are currently progressing, including in collaboration with our traditional owner partners, to maximise the sustainability of the project.” Challenges “The biggest challenge facing industry is the delivered cost of energy,” explained Ms. Johnson of the Australian Aluminium Council. “The Australian alumina industry is highly dependent on gas for its operations and viability; directly using more than 160 PJ of gas per annum. Energy typically accounts for 30-40% of the industry’s cost base, and therefore it is a key determinant of their international competitiveness. The Australian domestic gas market is currently neither efficient nor deep. The Australian Aluminium Council seeks a national energy policy framework which is transparent, stable, and predictable, whilst maintaining the economic health of the nation including vital import and export competing industries. Access to gas is a crucial aspect of this for the alumina industry.” “The Australian Aluminium Council March/April 2021

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36 THE ALUMINA CHRONICLES

believes that gas will have an important and necessary bridging role in lowering carbon emissions, as it is technically and economically viable today; whilst zero emissions alternatives are more fully developed in the future,” Ms. Johnson continued. “Australia’s alumina refineries already produce some of the lowest emissions alumina globally, and are well below the global industry average, at 0.7 t CO2-e / t alumina compared to 1.2 t CO2-e / t alumina globally. The industry is currently developing new technologies and articulating a range of costed technology pathways, which will inform a future transition. However, the time, cost, and complexity of developing viable, large-scale alternatives to the use of gas should not be underestimated.” Ms. Johnson noted that “Alumina refineries already provide some demand response to the grid. However, if there was to be an increased supply of competitively priced zero-emissions electricity, there is the potential to materially increase the electrification of alumina refineries combined with demand response, which

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Fig 5. This image from a promotional video details the planned Wuudagu Bauxite Project in Western Australia. (The image was provided courtesy of the Valperlon Group.)

could supplement electricity firming in the Australian market. Australia’s industry is seeking a restoration of international competitiveness. Efficient deployment of technological changes will support the transition of economically important

industrial sectors such as alumina, enabling a greater manufacturing sector. In deploying these technologies, Australia will also need to address its relatively high-cost capital costs, compared to international competitors.” �

Do you have questions about the aluminum industry? Governmental regulations? Company operations? Your questions may be used in a future news column. Contact Richard McDonough at aluminachronicles@gmail.com. © 2021 Richard McDonough

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SUPPLY CHAIN 37

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André Torbjørnsen

Unlock hidden value in your supply chain with data and analytics By André Torbjørnsen* In the 2020 drybulk market, over 193 million tonnes of bauxite and alumina left export countries by seaborne freight - up from 180 million in 2019. With 90% of all international trade transported by sea, and bulk accounting for a good 80% of that, it becomes unfathomable to imagine how much hidden potential lies within supply chains around the globe just waiting to be unlocked. Fortunately, we live in an era where more doors are open than ever before thanks to modern technology. In an industry with buzzwords such as big data, advanced analytics, machine learning, and automation becoming the norm; how can words become action, and how easy is it to not only discover but capitalize on that untapped potential in supply chains today? Recognize that opportunity starts with visibility With the data and availability of information that exists throughout the production process of supply chains today, many companies have already taken significant steps and unlocked supply

chain value that was virtually un-tappable just ten years ago. In factories, smelters and refineries, sensors can provide real-time data for consumption, production, and inventory levels. Industry 4.0 has seen the rise of the Digital Twin and allows manufacturers to monitor digital replicas of assets used in production processes to create global visibility. On the transportation side of the supply chain, the ability to track the location of raw materials (particularly onboard seaborne vessels) at any given moment is another modern-day luxury. A key enabler of this digital age has been the access to computing power and the democratization of that power through cloud services. The calculation and processing of massive amounts of data can be done today using advanced algorithms on scales hitherto undreamed of – and they are continuously evolving and improving. However, on the logistics side, and in particular seaborne logistics; many industry players continue to rely on spreadsheets, physical data entry, and

manual ways of exchanging information between stakeholders throughout the planning and execution processes. This means that one of the most costintensive parts of the supply chain relies on structures and systems that lack inter-connectivity, the ability to provide transparency, visibility, or access to realtime information. Combine new tools with existing knowledge The good thing is many stakeholders already have the key component in place to get started - knowledge. Experience gained through industry expertise is hard to recreate and technology should not be looked upon as a means of replacing human decision-making, but of complementing it and empowering those decision-makers to perform even better. By using data and analytics as a tool when planning and looking for optimization potential, it becomes possible to recognize those opportunities early enough to be able to capture them. To capitalize on the finite opportunities where profit margins

*André Torbjørnsen is the Head of Supply Chain Analytics at Klaveness Digital. He has nearly 20 years of experience from the global shipping industry specializing in financial and trade analysis. Aluminium International Today

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38 SUPPLY CHAIN

are slim, and to make real-time decisions that will generate real value across the supply chain by reducing costs, risk, waste, and the associated environmental impact of sub-optimal planning. The next step is identifying solutions capable of harnessing the data and analytics that already exist throughout supply chains today and turning that into something meaningful. Solutions (that stand out from the rest) should be able to utilize existing information that is managed today in ERP systems, spreadsheets or other sources and create more value with that data. Examples could be through predictive algorithms, scenario builders or optimization modules where traditional planning tools are limited.

TURNING VISIBILITY INTO VALUE

Having succeeded in finding the right tools for the job, the next step is identifying those cases where data and analytics can be put to work for improved decision making. Here are a few examples of the possibilities:

Measuring and benchmarking indirect emissions

Reducing indirect (Scope 3) emissions holds massive potential for industrial companies to identify hotspots and multiply their decarbonization efforts across the supply chain. While stronger regularly agenda on this aspect of the supply chain may still be some time away, several industry leaders are already taking noteworthy steps of action. One example being the Sea Cargo Charter initiative. In order to harness that existing data and turn that into action - a good visual representation of the supply chain is needed. This needs to include a way of accurately reporting the carbon sources and quantities; not just for auditing purposes, but as a means of using that insight to adjust and improve. Calculation of EEOI (Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator) is a proven way of calculating Scope 3 emissions. It may be a challenge for stakeholders to agree on what should be used as the factors to accurately measure the consumption of carbon fuels to get to the end number, but most industries already have the components at their disposal to calculate those figures. The question of what to track and what to calculate may be up for debate, but with the level of information available today such as satellite data, sensor information, vessel information, and voyage specifics just to name a few; the data is there. And solutions capable of capturing that data and turning into March/April 2021

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insight for improved decision making are entering the marketplace. Berth allocation through rule-based optimization Consider calculating the optimal lineup of three arriving vessels, this gives six possible combinations and arguably could be solved by relying on experience and a piece of paper. Six vessels present 720 possible combinations, and with 12 vessels this number expands to almost 480 million possible combinations. This quickly becomes a complex domain that can only effectively be solved by leveraging the capacity of more advanced solutions that will remain conscious of all variables, map the scenarios, and recommend the best course of action. Increasing predictability will not only guarantee less waiting time for vessels but will ensure land-based transportation accrues less idle time while on standby and other possibilities to improve any land-based parts of the supply chain. With each day of waiting time for one Kamsarmax vessel (82 000 DWT) resulting in an average bunker consumption of up to 4MT per day, any reductions should also be welcome contributions towards reducing emissions across supply chains.

Tighten lead time Suppose lead time across trade routes is unpredictable and prone to disruptions. Even traditionally dependable sailing times can face uncertainties with port congestion, weather disruption, and other unplanned factors. This makes it challenging to plan ahead with accuracy especially for those living by ‘just-in-time’ logistic models. A machine learning solution that collates overall lead time throughout the supply chain and consistently updates trade routes in real-time would help to solve this. Human experience and influence may well be relied upon here to execute the decision on whether the newly calculated lead times should be implemented into

the planning stages for the future. Longer term bottom-up planning A typical plan may involve importing a certain amount of tonnes per month on a consistent basis with little variation to quantities. With a solution in place to scrutinize the plan in real-time, those inventory requirements are finitely assessed against storage constraints, berthing challenges, vessel capacity, etc. Stakeholders who are proactively alerted to challenges can help identify bottlenecks and any inconsistencies in top-down planning, inconsistencies that may have resulted in costly demurrage and the need to charter extra vessels later down the chain. And countless others… The previous examples are just to name a few. But there are numerous other use cases that could be explored – assessing supplier performance, improving communication between stakeholders, managing demurrage exposure, and of course the working hours saved by bringing order to where once there might have been chaos. And with the speed of technological advances in automation, data collection, and analytics, the very nature of planning and managing aluminium supply chains that depend on maritime logistics is heading into an exciting future.   From Supply Chain 4.0 to Visionary At this time, there is no single, turn-key solution that can meet all requirements of any given supply chain. A best-of-breed approach is required to achieve the target state many companies within the industry are seeking. However, solutions under consideration for implementation should be able to cater to providing the most important supply chain elements for the user and at least be able to offer some degree of customization. Partners that stand out from the rest should be able to blend the quality of their solution with in-depth industry knowledge and expertise. If users can rely on the partner in an advisory capacity and consider them to be an extension to their team when it comes to deep diving supply chain data and identifying opportunities, the possibilities are endless. This will also ensure a smoother transition for those previously accustomed to acting on a much more limited set of information when transforming traditional work processes to the new digital reality. A digital reality that holds a lot of promise for delivering the next generation of resilient, cost-effective, and decarbonized supply chains. � Aluminium International Today

23/02/2021 14:58:53


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40 FUTURE-PROOFING

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Future-proofing the aluminium industry By Raphael Rudolph* The UK’s manufacturing sector is thriving in many ways and metals companies, such as those manufacturing aluminium are a vital part of the UK economy. With an annual output of £192 billion, the UK remains the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world. Manufacturing is also expected to be integral to the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery, after the sector experienced its strongest month in six years in August 2020, during the height of the pandemic. However, with the global landscape of metal manufacturing changing rapidly and a clear need to invest in UK manufacturing in light of political uncertainty, it’s essential

that the industry futureproofs itself. Filling the skills gap to protect the future of the industry Despite being one of the UK’s most prominent sectors, the broader metalworking industry is struggling to attract new talent and apprentices. Research we recently commissioned uncovered that 80% of employees across the metalworking industry believe not enough is being done to encourage young people to take up a career in the sector. The research also revealed that 76% believe there are fewer younger people entering the metalworking sector year-onyear, while 42% believe the skills shortage

will have the biggest impact on the future of the industry, with 74% confirming it’s a serious issue that must be tackled. With almost half of those surveyed believing that the skills shortage will be the greatest thing to impact the broader metalworking industry, it’s clear that more must be done at all levels of the sector to support emerging talent and attract the next generation of skilled aluminium workers. The skills shortage will have a huge impact on the aluminium sector if it isn’t addressed. If more action isn’t taken by both businesses and the government, the UK will soon see a huge impact on its ability to keep up with growing demand.

*MD, FEIN UK. March/April 2021

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More must be done to encourage younger people to enter the sector by promoting the benefits of working in the industry, rolling out new initiatives, and providing adequate training and support through the early years of their careers. The impact of a lack of efficient and reliable tools The efficiency and reliability of the power tools currently being used are amongst the biggest pain points across the broader metalworking industry. A lack of goodquality tools impacts speed, productivity and profitability, with many of those asked as part of our research stating the power tools they currently have access to aren’t even ‘fit for purpose.’ In fact, more than half (52%) of those asked confirmed this, stating issues such as their tools breaking down and being generally unsuitable for the job, amongst the key issues. The general consensus was that, when it comes to tools, manufacturers shouldn’t be looking for a quick fix. In fact, our research uncovered that 83% of employees in the sector would rather have their employer seek out tools which will support the business in the longterm, as opposed to being given a tool that’s only going to provide a short-term fix and may have to be replaced again just a few months down the line. At FEIN, we understand the importance of providing end users with the training and support they need to do their job efficiently and produce quality results, which was further solidified by our research. On asking metalworkers about the complexity of the tools they’re using and the support they’re provided with, our research revealed that 35% of employees in the sector admit the tools they’re usually provided with by their employer are too complicated to use and they aren’t supported with adequate training upon them being implemented into the business. This means that endless production hours are potentially being lost year-on-year due to operators not being educated on how to efficiently use the tools they’re provided with. It’s therefore crucial for businesses to seek that expert insight into the right tools that will work for the job in hand from manufacturers, to save both time and money in the long run. Furthermore, 72% believe that if they had access to better tools, the time it takes to complete a job would be reduced significantly – meaning increased efficiency and, in turn, more profits for businesses operating in the sector. Our ethos here is very much rooted in providing solutions for end users. The foundation of each and every one of our power tools has been manufactured with efficiency and reliability firmly front Aluminium International Today

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of mind, to help resolve the everyday problems those in the metalworking sector face. Every tool we manufacture is the result of a solution for end users,

to resolve a challenge they have faced in their daily applications. The power tools being used currently are generally insufficient with too many hours being lost due breakages and lack of efficiency. It’s essential for organisations operating in the sector to lean into relevant manufacturers to make recommendations on the best tools for the job, with long-term ROI (return on investment), particularly around efficiency and reliability, being the main driver as opposed to cost in the short-term. The importance of innovation If the aluminium sector wants to not only survive, but thrive in the future, it must be seen to be embracing new technology. Whether this is minor advancements such as better tools or tool accessories or complete digital transformation, it’s only through this constant adaption that the company will secure its place for the future and also attract the best talent pool. Those that do not adapt will surely March/April 2021

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42 FUTURE-PROOFING

be left behind. Technology and innovation have been causing a buzz across the sector for several years now. Traditionally slow to adapt compared to other industries, there has been a great period of change emerging in the industry when it comes to innovation and transformation. Our research indicated that 67% of those working across the metalworking sector in general would like to advance their current

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ways of working, in order to introduce new technology into their current role to improve the overall efficiency of the sector. However, it’s clear that there still needs to be strong investment in this area, with one-in-six stating there isn’t enough focus on the introduction of technology in their business. With over 150 years’ experience of manufacturing power tools, we have a proud history of innovation and provide

high levels of support to dealers, along with application-based solutions to end users in the aluminium sector, as well as the broader metalworking industry. If the aluminium industry wants to evolve, it must adopt new technology, however this must be teamed with adequate training to ensure it is effectively utilised. � Contact www.fein.com/en_uk/

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FURNACES 43

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Storvik’s Furnace Tending Tools – The optimal solution for furnace tending operations By Helgi Magnusson*

Example showing skimming process with FTV (Furnace Tending Vehicle)

Storvik’s Furnace tending tools have been on the marked for about 8 years and have proven extended lifetime, better efficiency and more consistency than conventional mild steel tools in routine furnace tending operations. These tools are currently in regular use in more than 30 casthouses around the world, assisting aluminium producers in achieving consistent furnace operations, having their furnaces ready on time and on spec. Customers of Storvik are typically top tier upstream and downstream aluminium producers with the highest standards and

most challenging criteria’s which among others is delivering specific alloys with narrow material specifications, there the Storvik tools can play a big part, as no metal contamination is measurable from them during use. The furnace tending tools are made from Storvik´s proprietary alloys, developed especially to maximize durability and erosion resistance towards aluminium and alloying material, which is usually highly corrosive to most steel types. Storvik Furnace Tending Tool can last up to 8 times longer than a regular mild

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*Managing Director Storvik Iceland Aluminium International Today

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44 FURNACES

steel tool in addition to give a consistent process effect throughout its lifetime, this is because the Storvik tools maintain their shape and size thru their life, while most common mild steel tool deteriorate, bend and warp pretty rapidly. Improvement is key to Storvik and constantly strives to find ways to improve all processes for all customers, as well as improving all products supplied, the Furnace Tending Tool lineup is a good example of this, adding value by improving the processes and at the same time giving great savings on the furnace tending tools and tool maintenance. Current Furnace Tool lineup consists of 14 different tools, so it is highly likely that customers can find tools from that selection, which will be applicable for their furnace size, furnace type, vehicle type used for this purpose, etc. The furnace tools are designed to be both durable and efficient in this demanding environment, to achieve this, Storvik uses advanced computer simulations for thermal and stress analysis of the tools and flow simulations to optimise efficiency in operation Storvik´s Furnace Tending tools are made from non-weldable materials, so for fastening, Storvik has designed robust and simple cast iron bolting system which secures the tool to a mild steel boom or tool holder, this design makes tools exchange quick and easy. Storvik offers engineering support on adapting the tools onto customers’ vehicles and also offers best practice training for operators, best practices on the use of Storvik’s Furnace Tending Tools, is highly recommended to obtain the optimal lifetime from each tool and at the same time enhance the furnace tending process. Storvik has the highest standards for its products and deliverables, where the Storvik’s Furnace Tending Tools are no exception, we put our honour in always delivering on agreed time and budget with the desired capacity, redundancy, and quality. �

www.aluminiumtoday.com

Example showing alloying cages (available in two sizes)

Example showing thermal and stress analysis

Example showing flow simulations

Storvik’s Furnace tending tool

March/April 2021

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Aluminium International Today

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RODDING

IN-LINE ROD REPAIR

Robotic welding of anode studs

FEATURES

DIGITAL + PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE Get the aluminium industry's most informative read, direct to your inbox or letterbox. Subscriptions include six issues a year, the annual directory, two additional digital supplements and much more!

n n n n n

Cost-effective Reliable

Scalable

Industry 4.0

Low space requirements

BENEFITS n n n

Fewer rods and trolleys needed Increased rod efficiencies Redundancy

Industriveien 13, N-6600 Sunndalsøra Phone: +47 71 69 95 00 Email: storvik@storvik.no

WWW.ALUMINIUMTODAY.COM/SUBSCRIPTIONS

www.storvik.no


46 RUSSIA UPDATE

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Russia hopes for recovery of global demand for aluminium this year By Eugene Gerden* Russia hopes for the recovery of global demand for aluminium this year, planning to increase the supplies of the metal both to the domestic market and for exports, according to recent statements, made by some senior state officials and local analysts. The pandemic and its consequences have not resulted in a significant decline of aluminum sector in Russia in 2020 and the beginning of the current year, while the current situation in it remains stable. This is also confirmed by recent report, published by a local aluminium monopoly Rusal, according to which last year sales of the company fell just by 6%, compared to 2019, while the output remained practically at the level of 2019, being equivalent to 3,75 million tonnes. Still, despite this , Rusal, which accounts for more 98-99% of the overall production of primary aluminium in Russia is revising its strategy of development, paying more attention to the increase of supplies to Asian markets. In fact, the company already made some adjustments in its export structure last year. As it said in its report for Q3 2020, in July-September 2020, the share of the European direction in export structure fell to 37%, compared to 46% in Q2. At the same time exports to Asian markets grew from 27 to 32%. The growth was also observed in regard of supplies to domestic market and the market of CIS states, which share grew from 20% to 24%. Most of independent analysts expect, Rusal continue to pay a bigger attention to Asian exports this year, paying a particular focus for the increase of supplies to such countries as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia. The main reason for this is the faster recovery of their economics from the pandemic and its consequences, which contributes to the growth of the local aluminum demand. According to Ayrat Khalikov, director of the Center for Economic Forecasting of Gazprombank, who is one of Russia’s leading analysts in the field of finance and mining, most of quarantine restrictions in

these countries were lifted already at the end of 2020. That provided an impetus for the active recovery of their economics. According to Khalikov, currently China continues massive investments in its infrastructure sector and construction industry, which leads to the growth of aluminium consumption in the country. According to experts of the Russian Vedomosti business paper, during most of 2020, the average price level for aluminium in China were significantly higher those in the London Metal Exchange (LME). That contributed to the record growth of aluminium imports to the country since 2012 including those from Russia. Analysts said in recent months the supplies to the Chinese market have become significantly more profitable for the majority of global aluminium producers, despite higher transportation costs, compared to the supplies to other markets. Also last year China became the world’s only nation, that maintained the same level of aluminium consumption as prior to the pandemic- 35.9 million tons - and even imported up to 1 million tonnes of

the metal for its domestic needs. Analysts also believe the ongoing growth in aluminium sales in Asian countries reflects the existing general trend for the transfer of global aluminium production to this region and the reduction of industrial potential of Europe. In the meantime, the growth of aluminum sales in the domestic market (+4%) became the result of changes in sales strategy of UC Rusal, which followed after the imposition of sanctions against the company in 2018. At that period of time the company announced that it intends to increase sales of aluminium in Russia and the CIS region from 0.9 million to 1,7 million tons per year. As part of these plans, the company is taking measures for increase the production of aluminium products in Russia. For this purpose, it has recently completed certification of aluminum wiring for apartment buildings and localised the production of aluminium disks and radiators. Finally, it continues an active promotion of the use of aluminium in construction sector.

*Russian correspondent March/April 2021

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RUSSIA UPDATE 47

www.aluminiumtoday.com

According to analysts’ predictions, , UC Rusal can increase the share of sales in the domestic market up to 40% in its overall sales’ structure within the next five years In addition to diversification of the geography of supplies, in case of Rusal,

the company plans to increase sales of its high-added value products (aluminium alloys, flat and cylindrical ingots, wire rod, rims, high-purity aluminium) this year, the share of which in the overall sales’ structure of Rusal has already grown from

37% to 45% in recent months. The pandemic had a negative effect on the demand for these products both in the Russian and global markets and led to its significant decline, however at present the demand for them is steadily growing. �

AUTOMATION

AiRC-1000 sets the standard for smelters Automation Innovation based in Victoria, Australia has designed and engineered the new AiRC-1000. The system features robotic automation and a high-intensity laser to clean anode rods used in aluminium smelters. Aluminium smelters are facing an unavoidable need to reduce energy costs and improve operational and production efficiencies. Currently, brushes attempt to clean the rods’ surface with inconsistent results; allowing contamination to build up and reduce the anode rod’s conductivity. On top of this, contact with the rods destroys the brushes causing a need for frequent replacement. This results in increased electricity usage and higher operational costs. Automation Innovation’s AiRC-1000 machine is offering aluminium manufacturers a new, cost-effective, and progressive alternative by combining high powered laser cleaning technology and robotic automation, whilst facilitating optimum rod surface conductivity. Laser manipulation is achieved with industrial ABB robots that have been optimised to increase production output demands. The overhead conveyor input type of the AiRC-1000 can allow for a throughput of up to 500 anode rods per day* and the process ensures cleaning Aluminium International Today

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consistency and repeatability, complete with Industry 4.0 integration and reporting. It is estimated that the return on investment for this system is between 12 and 18 months.* Manufacturers will also benefit from the elimination of premature wearing down of parts, no ongoing consumables, and no additional materials or chemicals required for a greener and safer preferred cleaning solution. Cost savings can also be experienced thanks to power usage

reductions in the smelting process, and the convenience of the AiRC-1000’s ability to operate autonomously 24/7. Automation Innovation is also gearing up to export the AiRC-1000 internationally. � For more information contact Walter Meyler: sales@automationinnovation.com.au +61 (3) 9771 7920

*For an average sized plant.

Laser cleaning in action

March/April 2021

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ITALIAN SUPPLEMENT: METEF 49

METEF Preview METEF, the international exhibition for the aluminium, foundry and innovative metals industry, will be held from June 10th to June 12th, 2021, at the location of Bolognafiere, which is pivotal with respect to the national manufacturing and metallurgical industry, fully equipped with infrastructures, easy to reach and very much appreciated, at the same time as MECSPE trade show, the reference event for the manufacturing industry in our country and for the smart factory, confirming the objectives of great synergy between two leading events for the relaunch of materials and innovative technologies for the global manufacturing system. Launched in Italy in 1997 by Edimet as the world’s first event dedicated to light alloys, initially in partnership with Verona’s trade fair which in 2017 acquired it entirely, is now being strengthened by a new corporate structure and creates new partnerships to tackle international competition. The growing interest for aluminium as a raw material in the global economy of the next few decades brought to an extraordinary convergence of interests on the Metef event between Veronafiere and Bolognafiere, two of the greatest Italian trade show organizations, which decided to join forces with a 50-50 peer participation, placing their bets on a show. This partnership has the aim of enhancing in the international context a segment of such extraordinary strategic relevance as metallurgy and advanced manufacturing, Aluminium International Today

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from automotive to transportation, to constructions and mechanics, strongly connected to aluminium, a versatile, sustainable, environment-friendly material which lies at the foundation of every industrial development. Today, the industry represented by METEF is aiming at the reconstruction of the business and of the human and industrial system which have been severely put to the test. “It is time to look ahead towards recovery, the production segments which we represent are the solutions to restart”, Mario Conserva, President of METEF, stated. “Aluminium is one of the great

solutions, the material is a champion of sustainability, recyclability, and concrete responses to the circular economy and the reduction of the carbon footprint, it will be the challenge of the next few years in transport, construction, energy transport, and the myriad of intelligent applications it is able to ensure”. Maurizio Sala, President of Foundry Ecocer, representing the Organizing Committee of METEF underlined the role and importance of the event: “The scenarios for the future have changed, the great confirmation of this new approach is the Green Deal launched March/April 2021

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50

METEF’S SECTORS

METEF’S VISITORS

The industries represented are: primary aluminium, secondary aluminium, materials, machines and equipment, products, machining, assembly and surface finishing for foundry casting, die casting, extrusion, rolling.

All of the operators of the aluminium, foundry and special metal industries interested in the various segments of the value chain: � Production � Processing and intermediate machining � Recovery and recycling � End uses in the main segments: transportation, building, packaging, mechanics and electromechanics.

by the European Commission, aimed at favouring the development of SMEs and clearly focused on the Circular Economy and Environmental Sustainability, extraordinary strengths of aluminium. In the new scenarios, it will be very important to enhance the knowledge, technologies and excellence of the country, and the role of the Fair, representing our industrial segment, is fundamental”. Green aluminium, the environment, accessibility to raw materials, advanced technologies, innovation, international cooperation for the exchange of information and knowhow, these will be the central themes of the next METEF, resumed in the traditional METEF March/April 2021

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International Innovation Award, now in its fifth edition and dedicated to the most significant cases of innovative development made by companies on new products, production techniques, processing, finishing and use, focusing in particular on aspects of energy saving, ecosustainability and protection of resources. In the new scenarios of the Recovery Fund in our country, in addition to highlighting the great work of the trade associations, it is important to remember the central role in terms of communication of an event such as METEF and an international magazine such as Alluminio & Leghe, as Mario Conserva pointed out: “These are communication tools which for almost

thirty years have expressed the needs and requirements of the aluminium sector to institutions and national and international decision-makers. By means of these agile communication tools, for example, during the Covid-19 crisis, national politicians were promptly asked for appropriate measures to safeguard the business system, from foundries to rolling and extrusion to final processing and finishing: concrete measures such as credit insurance and greater liquidity, financing for investment projects, tax incentives and subsidised loans. In other words, concrete measures to provide visibility and create opportunities for the restart of our industry”. � Aluminium International Today

24/02/2021 14:16:53



52 ITALIAN SUPPLEMENT: PANIZZOLO aluminium output from Mega 1100

It’s time to maximize the value of metals Why Panizzolo Recycling Systems has long invested in following customers with targeted solution

Panizzolo refining hammermill

Panizzolo Mega 1100 hammermill

Nowadays the circular economy must therefore adopt a new approach in the treatment cycle. Italy and Europe must take responsibility for encouraging companies to complete the metal recovery cycle, changing course with respect to past and recent politics. Anticipating this, Panizzolo Recycling Systems has gained a concrete experience in the End-of-Waste field. It is not a secret that the global market is rapidly moving towards the exclusive demand for quality metals, benefiting with an increase in sales, those companies that were already within these parameters before the Chinese Nationa Sword. March/April 2021

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In order not to get stuck with the scrap business, companies need to sharpen their weapons and aim for a path of technological innovation. By updating and elevating the treatment phases, it will be possible to seize the opportunities of this change and manage the abundance of scrap and metals that the sector is desperately trying to reintroduce into the production cycle. Panizzolo is the answer for global recycling innovators On one hand the attention to the environment, on the other the optimization of production activity

and the costs control, that is the ideal combination which those people who deal with waste treatment services must aim for. In the case of Panizzolo Recycling Systems, we are talking about recycling of metal waste with Mauro Panizzolo, owner and technical manager and Matteo Turatto, sales director. “Our recycling solutions for metal waste treatment - says Mr. Panizzolo - start from a completely customer-oriented approach. We have based our mission and company vision on producing efficient, flexible and innovative solutions to maximize the return on the client’s investment, providing the right options to develop the business, without forgetting to also be a valuable ally for the environment. In particular, the purpose of our plants is the treatment and recovery of all waste containing metals such as copper, aluminum, brass, steel and iron to Aluminium International Today

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ITALIAN SUPPLEMENT: PANIZZOLO 53

Hammermill Flex 1000 Mobile aluminium profile treatment

Refining hammermill Granulated aluminium from bottle caps

collaborations with the University of Padua and technical workshops of renowned foundries. If customer satisfaction is the priority, to get it the right machinery to maximize business performance has to be provided. For this reason Panizzolo Recycling Systems applies stricter company quality policies in the design and construction of its plants. In the design phase it is important that the proposed solutions enable the end-user to optimize the profitable potential of the output metals, bringing them to a size, a quality and a degree of cleanliness that are the highest required by the market.

transform them from waste to resources to be reintroduced into the production cycle “. The constant research and development activity, in addition to a thirty-year knowhow, are the guarantee of an extensive knowledge of the sector and its problems. “Our metal recycling plants summarize the concept of «time is money».” continue Mr. Panizzolo “The applied technologies allow the total recovery of secondary raw materials and the direct re-entry into the economic cycle. Thanks to the continuous comparison with the customers’ needs and the direct tests carried out on our recycling plant, our team constantly aims at researching and developing new technical solutions for different national and international markets. To underline the commitment to achieve these objectives, Panizzolo has Aluminium International Today

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Covid-19 and green business: In what direction is now moving Panizzolo Last year many changes in scrap sector has been eccelerated by the COVID-19 emergency. While continuing to invest in new recycling cycles, scrap companies analyze operating costs much more thoroughly than in the past. “Compared to four or five years ago,” says Matteo Turatto “the sector is evolving in a very clear direction: companies must make the most of scrap metals if they do not want to lose their competitive advantage. The market requires the recovery of more complex waste, which requires ever more efficient recycling plants. For this reason, in the analysis phase, companies are more sensitive to all those qualitative aspects that give an economic return in the medium to long term. Exactly on this front Panizzolo Recycling Systems has consolidated its market positioning, with excellent response from both Italian and foreign customers.” Panizzolo Recycling Systems is still chosen because knows how to offer innovative technologies, with management costs much lower than other recycling machines on the market, as Mr. Mauro Panizzolo explained to us.

“Today, it becomes essential for companies to know the operating costs that will result from the investment: management of the scrap treatment cycle, energy consumption, maintenance and spare parts, personnel employed and more.The low costs of the Panizzolo lines benefit the productivity of the plant, a crucial node for the economic prospects in the medium and long term”. The solutions in refining plants are particularly appreciated for the innovative treatment cycle, responding to a demand that the market was unable to satisfy with adequate machinery. The refining hammer mills have three patents for the enhancement of copper, aluminum, brass and steel deriving from mixed waste, with the possibility of making an excellent economic profit from the output material. “We are satisfied with the growing demand of our recycling plants” concludes Mr Turatto “We have launched a monitoring plan of some of our hammer mills installed in highly intensive treatment cycles with 16-hour shifts. In this way we were able to identify new technical solutions, significantly increasing productivity and arriving, like the new Mega 1500 model, even at 30 tons / h. All this while maintaining the same energy consumption and quality of outputs”. “Within our company, we have long started this path, effectively responding to the changes in an increasingly demanding business. Compared to the competition, we have chosen to specialize in the valorization of metal scrap thanks to the innovative hammer mills from 90 kW to 450 kW. The continuous commitment to Research and Development allows us to boast a solid professional reputation among the companies in the sector. Our peculiarity of anticipating market needs allows us to position ourselves as a leader in the production of these machines.” � March/April 2021

23/02/2021 15:18:54


IT’S TIME TO MAXIMIZE THE VALUE OF METALS

ALUMINIUM FOUNDRY Recycling solution for aluminium profile recovery

Hammer mill MEGA 1100 motor power 375 hp productivity up to 22 tons/h

SCAN THE VIDEO

www.panizzolo.it

WEBINARS At a time where international travel is still restricted, but business must go on, Aluminium International Today is running a series of Webinars to keep the industry connected. Register to hear from industry experts about topics ranging from cyber security resilience, digitalisation, manufacturing case studies and more. All Webinars are free to attend and also give you the opportunity to network with colleagues, clients and friends in one place.

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ITALIAN SUPPLEMENT: CONTINUUS-PROPERZI 55

www.aluminiumtoday.com

Latest technologies for aluminium ingot by Continuus-Properzi Nearly seventy years ago, “Properzi rod” became a well-known brand name to identify the new continuous cast and rolled rod product substituting the old one which was produced by extruding and rolling billet. The name “Properzi rod” came from Ilario Properzi who was the inventor of the system and the founder/owner of the Continuus Company, the supplier of casting machines and rolling mills to the main international players of the 1950s like Pechiney, Alcan, Alcoa, Southwire and others. Since then, the company changed its name to Continuus-Properzi S.p.A. under the direction of the second generation while maintaining its undisputed leadership as supplier of such rod lines internationally. Today the range of available lines, complete from furnaces to coilers, covers a span from 10,000 to 100,000 tons per year. Naturally, the higher production rates are for the Smelters and for E.C. or electrical alloys; the medium or small sized lines are mainly for cable companies or producers of mechanical/welding alloys. All projects are tailor-made and our vast know-how facilitates the production of many alloys including the most difficult 5000 and 6000 series alloys; some 2000 and 7000 series alloys have also been successfully produced. Approximately 15 years ago ContinuusProperzi engineers launched a special application of the wheel and belt caster to produce a new type of aluminium ingot which was immediately called the “Properzi ingot” by ingot producers such as Alba, Dubal and Raffmental. Many millions of tons of Properzi ingots have been marketed since then. The wheel & belt ingot caster has a casting wheel diameter larger than four meters. It is not rare that the high rod production lines have a casting wheel diameter in the range of 3.5 meters and a cast bar cross section compatible with that of 10 kg ingots. Considering that it is always difficult for an aluminium smelter to balance the production of semis with the market instability of billets, rod, ingots and other Aluminium International Today

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Fig 1

products that suffer fluctuations in both price and demand, Continuus-Properzi, who supplied practically all the aluminium rod lines to the smelters worldwide, has recently developed a combination line able to produce two distinct products: rod and ingots… from the same line! One high production rod caster (1015 ton/hour) solidifies a continuous bar that can enter into the rolling mill for the production of wire rod or can be sheared by the automatic rotary shear to produce 10 kg ingots having a length of 700 mm. The resulting Properzi ingots are far superior to those produced with a traditional open-top system. Here is a summary of the main characteristics of Properzi ingots: � 100% repeatable shape, dimensions, and weight � Consistent dimensions and shape of ingot bundles with superior stability � 25% less space required for storage

� The cast bar is solidified with zero cracks and no dangerous voids � Skimming is not required � Traceability data mechanically imprinted (on each ingot) � Zero de-molding problems � Very stable bundles require minimum strapping material

The Properzi ingots are continuously cooled, stacked (as shown in Fig 3) and strapped in bundles of approximately one ton. The additions to the pure rod line are not that significant: they mainly consist of a deviation device for the sheared ingots, the cooling tank, the stacking robot and the strapping unit. With a small increase of CAPEX the smelter will gain the flexibility to quickly adjust to sudden market changes. The shifting from rod to ingot production, and vice-versa, is easily done and does not require major changes. It March/April 2021

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56 ITALIAN SUPPLEMENT: CONTINUUS-PROPERZI

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Fig 3

Fig 2

Fig 4

will only take a couple of hours to make the transition which includes: mounting the deviation device, making a few clicks on the HMI, and re-programming the furnaces. As shown in the Lay-out example (Fig 4), the ingot line is located near the rod line with the important advantage of optimizing the use of space in the cast house. The necessary area is almost half of the area required to install two separate lines, one for rod production and a separate one for ingot production. Furthermore, since the caster is the same for both products (produced in campaigns), it is not necessary to install two separate furnace sets. This provides important savings in terms of total Fig 5

March/April 2021

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investment and space. Pure aluminium ingots, as well as primary foundry alloys AlSi7 and AlSi11 ingots, are the alternative product(s) for a different market. Two “Combo-Lines”, as they are called, have been in full production since early 2020. More than one hundred thousand one-ton bundles have already been shipped to the market from Jharsuguda – India where Vedanta Group has installed four 15 tph lines (a potential of 400,000 tons of rod per year!); two of them are now Combo-Lines because this added flexibility has been seen as a great opportunity by this leading aluminium producer. It must be noted that for ingotonly plants, Continuus-Properzi no longer

proposes their wheel and belt caster but a recent evolution called Track & Belt (T&B) caster that solidifies a straight bar for an increased production rate and simpler operation that no longer requires straightening of the bar. This is especially important for secondary complex alloys that result in a very stiff bar when they solidify. In the Track & Belt process the liquid coming from the furnace passes through the launders and tundish set and is poured in a continuous straight mould that is called a “caterpillar”. A series of copper blocks forms the bottom and the sides of the mould while the steel belt, tensioned by an upper pulley, closes the mould. The machine is designed for high production of 10 kg ingots; this means up to 1,800 ingots per hour for secondary alloys and above 2,000 ingots per hour in the case of pure aluminium. For this reason, the Track & Belt caster is followed by a spray cooling box that completes the solidification of the bar. In one case, with the same T&B machine the production can be converted from 10 kg ingots to 15 kg ingots by changing the “caterpillar”. More than a dozen T&B ingot casting lines are already in operation. The undisputed global leadership in aluminium rod machinery of Continuus-Properzi is now matched with their leadership in aluminium ingot production lines. � Fig 6

Aluminium International Today

23/02/2021 15:20:29


PROPERZI FURNACES & COMBUSTION DIVISION PROPERZI FURNACES FOR COPPER LINES

PROPERZI FURNACES FOR ALUMINIUM LINES

VERT-REF (Vertical Refining) FURNACES for Copper Scrap

VERT-MELT (Vertical Melting) FURNACES SET

SHAFT & HOLDING FURNACES for Copper Cathodes REVERBERATORY SCRAP REFINING FURNACES for Copper Scrap

WE PRODUCE TECHNOLOGY. YOURS.

www.properzi.com


58

ADVERTORIAL: EXTRUSIONS

BENKAM Alu Extrusions:

Center for Aluminum Extrusion at the heart of the Great Silk Road

March/April 2021

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ADVERTORIAL: EXTRUSIONS 59

HEAD OFFICE Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uchtepa district, Hirmontepa street, 1 info@benkam.be www.benkam.be

BENKAM Alu Extrusions is a dynamically developing company, founded in 2015 by European and Uzbek partners, focused on exporting to Europe, Central Asia, and overseas. It belongs to the AKFA Group holding. The production complex of the company is situated on the territory of Navoi FEZ, with a total area of more than 116,000 sq.m. The first two phases of construction have been fully completed as of today and 900 jobs have been created. One of the main strategic ideas for the expansion is to able to fulfill the demand of the CIS region and provide service to the European market. Besides CIS, Europe is one of the largest consumers of aluminum where BENKAM Alu Extrusions can play a good supporting role and block unwanted invasion from the East. The production complex is just one kilometer away from the airport and railway. It has a strategic location at the heart

of Central Asia and free access to highways. The main field of activity is the production of aluminum profiles and their mechanical treatments. The profiles are produced with six modern and high-tech extrusion presses of Italian and Korean production, with a capacity of 4000 tons, 2000 tons, and 1000 tons. The whole production process is fully automated, which eliminates a large number of defects and increases the quality and accuracy of production. The production capacity of the complex reaches 50,000 tons of finished products per year. BENKAM Alu Extrusions is the largest producer of aluminum profiles in Central Asia. The implementation of international standards in the company such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 strengthens the trust in strategically important partnerships. In order to minimize harm to the environment, the company has introduced safe and efficient waste management through separation, utilization and recycling.

BENKAM IS TO BE ONE OF THE LARGEST PLANTS OF THE ALUMINUM EXTRUSION PRODUCTION IN THE WORLD The AKFA Group has set strategic goals for the production of aluminum profiles. The company is expanding not only its production base, but also aims at reaching the production capacity of 100,000 tons per year over the next five years. The expansion of the complex will increase the staff up to 1400 people. � The project, covering a five-year period, will increase the production of aluminum extrusion and become one of the largest plants in the world. The new large-scale investment project is intended to satisfy the growing demand for aluminum consumption in the world. This project has already been launched officially since the beginning of this year. It will increase the export potential of the AKFA Group in the markets of the USA, Canada, Germany, Poland, Finland, Russia, Ukraine and a number of CIS countries, - said Kamran Gulamov, the CEO of the AKFA Group. � The third construction phase of the BENKAM production

complex will include modern technological showrooms, offices and administrative blocks. The long-term contract was signed between the AKFA Group and the Italian company Presezzi Extrusions on February 5, 2020 to supply the hightech equipment for the production of aluminum extrusion.

Aluminium International Today

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ENTERING THE WORLD MARKET The AKFA Group, which includes BENKAM Alu Extrusions, is planning to submit an IPO by 2025. “We are entering the world market and we want to place the company’s shares in the open market. However, not everyone knows the amount of work behind the process of the company’s transition from private into public,” said Kamran Gulamov, the CEO of the AKFA Group. One of the main tasks in the Holding is digital transformation and optimization of all business processes, acceleration of decision-making process based on the data, and the concept of Corporate Governance based on the principles of transparency, accountability, and safety.

March/April 2021

23/02/2021 15:33:04


SAVE THE DATE

Bringing together aluminium manufacturers and environmental solutions providers, the Summit will present the main issues, investments, technologies, and best practice examples from across the supply chain. We want sustainability to be more than just a buzzword, so we are inviting a range of experts to give their opinions and advice on how best to achieve this huge decarbonisation task. JOIN THE SUMMIT TO HEAR MORE ON TOPICS INCLUDING: The reliability of renewable energies Eco-friendly manufacturing The LME’s Sustainability Strategy

Early Bird rate: £49 (expires 2nd April)

The work of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative Sustainability targets – achievable or out of reach? Outlining guidelines for decarbonisation

Alongside the two-day conference and virtual exhibition, participants will also be invited to join live discussions and will have the opportunity to network with new contacts, arrange video meetings and exchange resources and information. In association with:

Organised by:

ALUMINIUMTODAY.COM/GREENER-ALUMINIUM

C O N TA C T CONTACT

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For sponsorship opportunities:

For speaking opportunities:

Nathan Jupp International Sales Manager +44 (0)1737 855027 nathanjupp@quartzltd.com

Nadine Bloxsome Editor +44 (0)1737 85511 nadinebloxsome@quartzltd.com

16/02/2021 10:47


Still setting the standard in Aluminium Grain Refining Performance

THE WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT

GRAIN REFINER

www.amg-al.com | enquiries@amg-al.com


Pushing the boundaries for low-carbon aluminium Aluminium production comes with a footprint. Hydro works to push the boundaries for low-carbon production. Hydro REDUXA® is our series of low-carbon aluminium. Through modern technology and the use of renewable energy from hydro, wind and solar, we can produce cleaner aluminium than ever before. Visit hydro.com/reduxa to learn more.