Hydro is offering an unusual ceremony, even with fireworks, on the occasion of its new extrusion plant on September 16th. "The numbers six and nine of the month are considered lucky numbers in Chinese culture, as they sound the same as two other positive words," says Bruno Frederix. "And we want luck to be on our side."
Frederix is responsible for the general extrusion part of the investment project and will later become the administrative director of the operation. "We want to extrude our first billet in August 2012 - a month ahead of schedule," he says.
The other extrusion press, which will start producing a few months earlier, will be part of the existing precision tube operation. This plant, opened in 2005, provides systems and components for heat exchangers for the automotive industry and for other non-automotive applications, such as refrigeration and residential air conditioning systems.
The investment of NOK 315 million covers two extrusion presses, including installation, construction and auxiliary equipment. One of the new lines will be dedicated to systems and components for heat exchangers, while the other will be dedicated to industrial customers, who demand value-added services such as manufacturing, of which the construction and building segments are an example. p>
Eyes turned to SRE and SSM
Hydro is following a development plan that emphasizes the company's principles in the area of corporate social responsibility (SRE). The plan includes suppliers and contractors. The largest suppliers have already signed statements in which they claim to endorse such principles and audits will be carried out on their companies.
Frederix adds that Hydro's SRE principles are in line with Suzhou Industrial Park, which is co-managed by China and Singapore.
NT4 is the largest contractor for the construction of the new factory. "We visited the works of the final group of contractors and considered their safety conditions, as well as their current quotas," says Frederix.
The contractor is responsible for the preparation of the base and the construction of the facilities, including its interior. In March 2012, NT4 will deliver the buildings, which will be built right behind the existing plant.
Big and getting even bigger
China is the largest market for extruded aluminum products in the world, representing about half of global consumption. Approximately a quarter of its market is located around the Yangtze River Delta, which is the most advanced and dynamic industrial region in China. Suzhou is in the center of this region.
In addition to precision tube customers, Hydro's Suzhou unit will significantly increase extrusion businesses in general, with manufacturing capacity that will add value to profiles. The new extrusion plant will take over this business and target local and foreign customers who demand higher levels of quality and services than normal.
In Europe alone, Hydro supplies more than 100,000 extruded shapes annually and, with advances in its die technology, the company is continually increasing its capacity. Each profile is designed individually, according to the client's requirements.