Products from Qatalum, the largest aluminium plant ever built in one phase, makes it possible to serve new customers in South America, as well as offering primary foundry alloys to a growing number of U.S. customers.
“We are now positioning Hydro for further growth in North and South America,” says Kjetil Ebbesberg, head of Hydro’s Metal Markets business area, which is responsible for marketing metal from Qatalum.
New metal to North America
Hydro operates two dedicated aluminium remelting plants in the U.S. – in Henderson, Kentucky, and Commerce, Texas, near Dallas. As these plants produce only extrusion ingot, customers in North America have not been able to purchase primary foundry alloys (PFA) from Hydro.
|REMELT: Hydro also supplies its customers in the U.S. with remelt extrusion ingot from plants in Texas (above) and Kentucky. (Photo: Jo Michael)
The increasing volumes of aluminium produced at Qatalum – a 50-50 joint venture between Hydro and Qatar Petroleum Co. – will now bring primary foundry alloys to this market. The first PFA shipments from Qatalum arrived in the U.S. in June.
Matt Aboud, marketing director and sales manager in the U.S., is leading the introduction of PFA to the U.S. market, while Gianni Valsecchi will bring valuable experience in selling PFA to Hydro’s European customers.
Entry to South America
Valsecchi will also be responsible for helping bring extrusion ingot and primary foundry alloys from Qatalum and Hydro’s aluminium plant in Kurri Kurri, Australia. “Initially, entering Brazil and Mexico will be our primary focus,” says Valsecchi.
Promising market outlook
Kjetil Ebbesberg says expanding the product scope in the Americas is a logical next step for Hydro.
“As a supplier of aluminium products, we need to position Hydro for the very promising growth prospects we see in certain South American markets. With our integrated, global system, we can draw on emerging market opportunities such as these,” says Ebbesberg.