Nalco Power Plant gets Energy Management Certification

The Captive Power Plant of Navratna PSU National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is the first CPSE Unit to be certified under Energy Management System. Located adjacent to company's Aluminium Smelter at Angul in Odisha, this 1200 MW Thermal Power Plant has been certified to the ISO 50001:2011 by M/s Det Norske Veritas (DNV). NALCO has taken up several measures to protect the environment through pollution control. In this line, the company has installed different projects at its Power Plant under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) including installation of Continuous Blow Down (CBD) heat recovery system and a Pilot-cum-Demonstration Project for Carbon Sequestration by Algae for managing and storing of Carbon Dioxide.

  UC Rusal temporarily suspends operations at Alscon smelter

UC Rusal has temporarily suspended smelting operations at its Nigeria-based Alscon smelter until a sustainable gas supply is found. According to Rusal, an on-going situation surrounding illegal attempts to challenge Rusal's rights of ownership to the plant and the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to cancel the sale of Alscon shares to Rusal have impeded long-term investment in the smelter. The ownership issue has made it impossible to sign long-term contracts, claims Rusal, and has hindered development and obstructed the implementation of structural, production and material improvements at the facility.
Depressed aluminium prices – which declined by 15.7% in 2012 – have added to the woes of the industry as whole and has led to a significant share of global production falling below breakeven point, claims Rusal. The Russian aluminium giant has focused on long-term efficiency and cost control, but it claims that a 'negative market environment and low LME price level' have affected the operations of its subsidiaries. Alscon will continue to generate electricity while Rusal will focus on securing continuous gas delivery, obtaining judicial determination that Rusal is the rightful owner of company, and preparing to restart operations. Rusal insists that its decision to suspend operations will not affect social stability or living standards in the region. Financial compensation will be provided for 'those employees who terminate their employment' at the IkotAbasi plant and those residing in Alscon's housing estates will be allowed to remain there. All contracts with local companies will be honoured and social programmes (for healthcare, education, youth support and sports) will continue. According to Rusal, 'smelting operations will resume as soon as the legal uncertainty has been resolved and the continuous power supply has been secured.’

  EMAL and Fluorsid 'Seal the deal' for Aluminium Fluoride

EMAL has signed a contract for the provision of aluminium fluoride (AlF3) with the Italian based company Fluorsid. The contract - worth $93m over three years – will have Fluorsid supply AlF3 to the flagship industrial project between 2013 and 2016. EMAL's potline will consist of 1,200 pots after completion of Phase II, with each pot consuming roughly18kg of AlF3 per tonne of aluminium produced. The signing was held at EMAL's premises at Al Taweelah where the Italian Ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Giorgio Starace, was on hand to witness the signing by EMAL President and CEO, Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei, and Fluorsid's Managing Partner, Tommaso Edoardo Giulini.

  Chalco blames pricing on net loss

The Aluminium Corporation of China (Chalco) has posted a net loss of $1.33 billion but promises that it will return to profit this year as the global economy recovers. The company blames depressed aluminium prices and high raw material costs for its latest figures, adding that the cost of alumina production soared by 4% and that light metal prices decreased by 7%.

  Indian state government in a fix over bauxite mining leases

The State government has found itself on a sticky wicket over the bauxite mining issue after the Centre directed the State government to rescind leases granted to the APMDC in Visakhapatnam. The Centre's insistence and the pressure exerted by Union Ministers Mr V Kishore Chandra Deo and Mr Jairam Ramesh have put a big question mark over the future of investments worth USD 550 million for alumina refineries and smelter complexes by Anrak Aluminium Limited, JSW Aluminium Limited and the public sector NALCO. Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy CM of Visakhapatnam during his recent visit to GK Veedhi evaded a direct answer on the controversial issue saying he would not take a decision that violates the law. Mr Rebbapragda Ravi executive director of Samata said that “Instead of ignoring the Centre's directive, Mr Reddy is trying to buy time and misinterpret various laws to go ahead with mining leases which will lead to benami mining by the project proponents.” In a letter dated 07.02.2013 (No. 6582/M.III (2)/2012, written by the Principal Secretary to the Industries and Commerce Department, Andhra Pradesh, to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the State refuted the grounds on which the Centre sought cancellation of leases. The State requested the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to reconsider the directive pending consultation with the Ministry of Environment & Forest and Ministry of Home Affairs. In the letter, the State contended that the APMDC was an instrument of the government and hence, lease to APMDC was not in violation of Land Transfer Regulation Act. Gram sabha approval under PESA Act was not required as bauxite was not a minor mineral.

  Base metal prices soften on weak Asian trend

Base metal prices fell up to INR 5 per kilogram on the local nonferrous metals market on stockists selling in tandem with a weak Asian trend. Traders said that sentiment turned bearish after copper slumped to an 8 month low in Shanghai as a key gauge of Chinese manufacturing missed estimates, stoking concern demand in the biggest consuming nation is slowing. Meanwhile, copper for delivery in July fell 2% to close at USD 8,656 per tonne the lowest level since July 25 on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. In the national capital, copper and nickel (4x4) fell INR 5 each to INR 432 and INR 1,052 per kilogram to 1,055 per kilogram respectively.Zinc ingot, lead ingot and lead imported were also traded lower by INR 2 each to INR 123 to INR 129, INR 142 and INR 140 per kilogram respectively. The following are metal rates per kg: Zinc ingot 123 to 129, nickel plate (4x4) 1,052 to 1,055, gun metal scrap 227 bell metal scrap 229, copper mixed scrap 432, chadri deshi 285. Lead ingot 142, lead imported 140, aluminium ingots 142, sheet cutting 143, aluminium wire scrap 146 and aluminium utensils scrap 142.

Trimet in talks to buy French Rio Tinto aluminium plants

Germany's biggest producer of aluminium, Trimet AG, is in talks with Rio Tinto Alcan to buy two of the mining giant's smelters in France. Dr. Martin Iffert, Trimet's CEO, has confirmed that Trimet and Rio Tinto are in exclusive talks over the two smelters, but Rio Tinto has refused to comment. According to news reports, Rio Tinto has been trying to sell 'at least 13 aluminium assets' since 2011 when it grouped a number of operations together within its Pacific Aluminium business with a view to selling them. French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg told the French National Assembly that talks between the two companies started. The two French aluminium smelters are at Castelsarrasin and Saint-Jean de Maurienne and the big worry was that Rio Tinto would simply shut down the plants and resume production elsewhere in the world.

  Dubal net profit slumps by 55%

Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) has reported 2012 net profits of $430m – 55% down on the company's 2011 figure of $957m. The company's net profits figure includes Dubal's share in the profits of Emirates Aluminium (Emal).Despite the noticeable downfall in net profits from last year, the company's president and CEO, Abdulla JM Kalban, said that the smelter achieved higher production and sales volumes in 2012 when compared with the previous year. Annual production volumes were up from 1.01Mt in 2011 to 1.02Mt at the end of 2012. Dubal has produced over 1Mt of aluminium per annum for three consecutive years.

Alumina Ltd not interested in Pacific Aluminium, says Bevan

Alumina Ltd of Australia says it is unlikely to bid for Rio Tinto's Pacific Aluminium business. Alumina Ltd of Australia says it is unlikely to bid for Rio Tinto's Pacific Aluminium business. John Bevan, Alumina's CEO, said that CITIC, the company's new Chinese shareholder, might make a play for the business, but, he added, CITIC's shareholding with Alumina Ltd bears no relation on its position with Pacific Aluminium. Alumina Ltd's key focus is bauxite and alumina and for this reason, it is unlikely to get involved with Pacific, Bevan said. There was nothing to stop CITIC and Alumina looking at other acquisitions together, said Bevan.

Henan Shenhuo Group profits down over 80pct YoY in 2012

According to Henan Shenhuo Group's annual report, the company reported CNY 27.99 billion in operating revenues during 2012 down 8.84% YoY and CNY 202 million in profits attributable to shareholders of its listed company also down 82.48%YoY. Its earnings per share declined 82.43% YoY to CNY 0.114 and return on equity also dropped 20.25 percentage points YoY to 3.22%.The company attributes its falling profits to plunging coal and aluminum prices in 2012. Shenhuo Group sold 451,300 tonnes of aluminum in 2012 down 6.33%, 820,900 tonnes of alumina up 38.62%, 181,600 tonnes of anode carbon up 13.15% and 65,600 tonnes of casting and cold rolling rolls down 35.56%.
Henan Nonferrous Huiyuan Aluminum and Henan Shenhuo New Materials, its subsidiaries were running at full capacity during the report period contributing to a notable increase in its alumina and aluminum hydroxide output. The falling sales volumes of its casting and cold rolling rolls were explained by decreasing orders at its subsidiaries Yangguang Aluminum Semis and Henan Shenhuo International Trade. 600 MW generating units at its subsidiary Henan Shenhuo Power Generation which are able to run at full capacity for 168 hours have entered full operations. This will help reduce Shenhuo Group's aluminum production costs and increase its profits in 2013. The company has set itself a target of producing 9 million tonnes of coal for commercial use this year, 630,000 tonnes of aluminum, 80,000 tonnes of aluminum semis, 800,000 tonnes of alumina, 100,000 tonnes of aluminum hydroxide and generating 5.8 billion KWH of electricity. It expects to book CNY 27 billion in operating revenues on CNY 26.3 billion in costs.

Hind Copper CMD receives Global HR Excellence Award

K. D. Diwan, CMD, HCL, has been awarded the Global HR Excellence Award, under the Individual Category of
‘CEO with HR Orientationl’ on 17th February 2013 in Mumbai. The award was presented by the Institute of
Public Enterprises (IPE) in association with the Ascent at the 21st Edition of the World HRD Congress, the theme of which was
“The future of Work”.

Coca Cola switches from steel to aluminium cans

Bevcan, South Africa's only manufacturer of beverage cans, has won a five-year contract to supply Coca-Cola with aluminium-bodied cans instead of tin-plated steel. South Africa's sole beverage can manufacturer, Bevcan, will now supply Coca-Cola with aluminium-bodied cans instead of tin-plated steel ones. Therese Gearhart, the drinks giant's president in Africa, said the aluminium can was in line with best global practice and packaging trends. The new cans will be on the market later in the year.

Nalco to build Gujarat alumina refinery

Indian aluminium giant Nalco has confirmed that it will build a 1Mt/yr alumina refinery, due for completion in 2017, in the state of Gujarat. While Nalco chairman BL Bagra announced the project last summer, it was reported earlier last year that the company had paid an upfront fee of $27 million to the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation to build the plant. A 500kt aluminium smelter will form part of the project and it will be supplied with bauxite from GMDC's mines in the Kutch district of Gujarat. It was also announced that Nalco's Odisha refinery would increase capacity by 1Mt/yer by 2016. Nalco has committed to produce 405kt of aluminium for the financial year 2013/14.

Rusal parent announces major Chinese investment

A $2 billion deal has been struck between En+ Group, the Shenhua Group and the China Development Bank to develop coal resources in Eastern Russia. En+ is the parent company of UC Rusal, the world's largest producer of aluminium, and it believes that Eastern Siberia is well-placed to become a reliable source of commodities, such as coal, to China. More than half of Russia's coal reserves can be found in Siberia.
China accounts for 50% of global coal consumption. The China Development Bank has agreed to finance a range of projects, to the tune of $2 billion, involving the development of transport infrastructure, port development and transportation in the region. The Shenhua Group is the world's largest producer of coal.

Kazakhmys takes bigger than expected $2.2 bln hit on ENRC stake

Kazakh copper miner Kazakhmys has taken a bigger than expected $2.22 billion impairment on the value of its 26 percent stake in London-listed rival ENRC. Kazakhmys, which has already reported earnings excluding the impact of the stake, said that ENRC contributed $548 million of core profit - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) - to the group. London-listed Kazakhmys had warned last month that it would write down the value of its holding in ENRC, making Kazakhmys the latest miner to take a hit from acquisitions attempted or completed during the boom years. ENRC itself has written down the value of assets in Kazakhstan and Africa. The group said that the carrying value of its holding in ENRC was reduced to a little more than $2 billion, or roughly 375 pence a share.

GCC construction completions grow 48% to $68.7 billion

Building projects worth more than $68.7bn were completed in the GCC last year. The amount, although lower than estimated, shows that the region's construction sector grew by 48% when compared to 2011 when $46.5bn of projects was completed. Moreover, the market is forecast to grow by a further 19% in 2013 with the value of completed projects set to reach $81.6bn. It is also stated that the value of new projects set to start on site is likely to climb by a third to $64.5bn in 2013, up from $48.4bn in 2012.
The sharpest increases in new projects are likely to be in the hospitality, education and medical sectors. The number of hospitality construction projects is set to grow by 27% to $27bn, while educational projects will increase by 69% to $8.8bn and medical projects by 79% to $5.9bn. Residential and commercial property markets are set to grow by 4.4% and 13% respectively - to $30.7bn and $13.8bn respectively.
The value of the interior contracting and fit-out market in 2012 was $7.86bn 0 a 56% increase on 2011. The UAE was the nation with the largest interiors spend ($2.83bn), followed by Saudi Arabia ($2.6bn) and Qatar ($1.49bn). Frederique Maurell, event director for both the INDEX and Office exhibitions, said: "A number of construction projects that had been on hold resumed in 2012, as the region's oversupply concerns were dispelled by a rise in demand due to growth of the population and disposable incomes. "Governments have initiated construction across key sectors to cater to this demand. Though recovery of the commercial real estate sector remains somewhat subdued, new opportunities are emerging in residential, hospitality, retail and education sectors; albeit at a cautious and regulated pace. While the global economy as a whole remains relatively flat, it is safe to say that GCC construction industry and the associated interiors fit-out sector are recovering momentum.”

Fresh hurdle for GMDC's alumina refinery

Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC)'s ambitious Rs 15,000-crore aluminium park in Kutch, Gujarat, is facing fresh hurdle. For the proposed project to be set up with one million tonne alumina refinery and a 0.5 million tonne aluminium smelter in partnership with the public sector National Aluminium Co (Nalco), GMDC is now struggling to source electricity for use in conversion from raw materials to finished products.
Nalco has put a condition in the bid that GMDC should arrange electricity at a rate of up to Rs 2.2 a unit for the smelter. That is the viable power cost for any smelter. So, investment in the smelter is conditional. If they can arrange electricity at Rs 2.2 a unit, they have the smelter; if this is not possible for them to arrange, there would be no smelter. If the two companies decide not to set up the smelter and, instead, go ahead only with the plans for the refinery, the project cost would be reduced to Rs 4,400 crore.
According to the tender GMDC floated, the company would supply bauxite, while the partner would account for all the investments to set up the refinery. However, now, GMDC is keen on picking up 26 per cent stake in the joint venture.
In December, GMDC Chairman G S Gadhvi had said earlier that the company might buy 26 per cent stake in the venture by using its internal accruals. If needed, it could even borrow some funds, he had added. In April, a detailed project report would be presented to the Nalco board, which would decide on the company's investment in the joint venture. The Nalco official said the company was keen on letting GMDC hold 26 percent stake, as this would ease the monetary pressure on Nalco. In 2010, GMDC had floated tenders to find a partner. However, it had to extend the deadline twice, as it couldn't find any takers. In November 2011, it finalised Nalco as a partner for the project. Since then, there is hardly any progress on this project.

Development of new aluminium smelters and downstream industries to drive the aluminium scrap and recycling market in the GCC

Globally, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been a major exporter of its primary Aluminium production. The Aluminium industry, specifically in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is one of the key sectors driving the economy and contributes significantly to the primary aluminium growth in MENA.
One of the key trends identified over time, has been the development of new aluminium smelters and expansion of existing smelters coupled with parallel development of downstream industries in the region. This has led to an increase in the scope of using more of Aluminium scrap in re-melting activities for downstream players by procuring the right alloy grade, recycling and thereby saving cost.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the Aluminium Scrap and Recycling Market in the GCC was estimated at 292,281 Metric Tonnes in 2010 and is expected to reach 593,434 Metric Tonnes in 2017 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.6% between 2010 and 2017. Moreover, the aluminium downstream industry is yet to establish itself as a major scrap procurer in this region. The aluminium re-melting facilities that consume the scrap and form alloy grades based on customer requirements are majorly present in the UAE, Bahrain and KSA with few key players in the rest of the region.
Considering, the region is a global player in aluminium production and a valuable source of export revenue apart from serving the booming domestic market, the GCC has planned development of new aluminium smelters in KSA and expansion of existing smelters into Phase 2 commissioning in Qatar, the UAE, Oman and Bahrain. With the development of new smelters and expansions, more secondary re-melting opportunities will arise. Downstream players are moving towards the scrap recycling market in order to reduce significant energy costs and be efficient operationally to cut input costs and reduce the carbon footprint. These are some of the factors driving growth in the aluminium recycling industry in the region.
Additionally, the emergence of the packaging industry, growth in automotive, construction and consumer sectors in the GCC are expected to further drive the aluminium scrap generation. Frost & Sullivan's recent study on the Aluminium Scrap and Recycling Market in the GCC indicates that the individual aluminium re-melting facilities play a huge role in converting aluminium scrap and making secondary alloy ingots based on customer requirements.
In addition, as major scrap recyclers look at more export opportunities, downstream players are left with limited sources of scrap in the region. They recommend implementation of new export policies so that the scrap generated in the GCC is used within the region for better energy utilization and to obtain economies of scale.

Alba breaks production record

Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has announced that it achieved a record production figure of 890,217 metric tonnes in 2012 - the highest in its 41-year history.
The company, which is currently undertaking a feasibility study with a view to expanding capacity by adding a sixth pot line, held a ceremony on January 3 to mark the achievement overseen by HRH Princess Sabeeka Oasis.
Chief operating officer Isa Al-Ansari said: "Alba's achievement was made possible by its dedicated workforce and great teamwork. We are proud to once again have achieved the record in production and look forward to even more in 2013."
Chief executive officer Tim Murray said: "2012 was a challenging year for the aluminium industry however Alba's commitment to operational improvement resulted in achieving the record in metal production without incurring any significant additional capital expenditures."
Alba also announced that it has obtained a new $85m five-year loan from Gulf International Bank of Bahrain, as well as a three-year, $84m facility from a club of banks Ahli United Bank, National Bank of Bahrain, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait and Arab Banking Corporation. The feasibility study into the expansion of its facility - a project which could cost up to $2.8bn - is being carried out by Canadian engineering firm Bechtel.

Global unwrought aluminium stocks at 1.285 mn tonnes in Feb

World unwrought aluminium stocks were at 1.285 million tonnes in February versus a revised 1.304 million in January, International Aluminium Institute (IAI) data showed. Unwrought stocks in February 2012 stood at 1.425 million tonnes. Total aluminium stocks, or unwrought aluminium plus unprocessed scrap, metal in process and finished semi-fabricated products, was at 2.321 million tonnes in February. That was up from a revised 2.302 million in January, and down from 2.389 million a year earlier.