Hydro has doubled the size of its aluminium tubing plant and opened the doors of its new same-site extrusion facility in China. The extension is aimed toward meeting local demand for industry-leading products and solutions in the largest downstream aluminium market in the world.
Hydro opened its new production facilities on November 21 with an event attended by customers, suppliers and local authorities. The two plants – the tubing plant and the extrusion plant – are located side-by-side at the company site in Suzhou Industrial Park, about two hours west of Shanghai.
The formal opening also signified a positive conclusion to the NOK 300 million investment project, which was launched in early 2011. The project covered two new extrusion presses, including installation, building and construction, and auxiliary equipment.
One of the new presses is dedicated to heat transfer tubing components and systems, while the other will be used to serve industrial customers who require also added value services such as fabrication.
The market for extruded products in China is more than 8 million tonnes, which is nearly three times as large as the European market. About 25 percent of this market is located in and around the Yangtze River Delta, China's most advanced and dynamic industrial region. Suzhou is in the middle of this region.
"We believe our strength is having closeness to the customer. This means having the ability to offer technical competence, consistent product quality and excellent service on a local basis," says Hans-Joachim Kock, executive vice president responsible for Hydro’s Extruded Products area.
Kock points out that, in addition to the new presses, Hydro has significantly increased its on-site product engineering competence at the Suzhou location.
Hydro started production in Suzhou in 2005, when it opened the aluminium tubing plant. The plant delivers precision drawn tubing and microchannel profiles for automotive and non-automotive heat transfer applications. Now, with the extrusion facility, customers have a broader range of options.
In total, Hydro has around 300 employees at its site in Suzhou.
"We have been working on this opportunity for some time, and I'm thrilled that we have completed the project in a good way. This is a major milestone in our strategy," says Kock.