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Aluminium News

Desmond Maharaj resigns as AMSA CFO

By: Simone Liedtke     4th May 2021 Desmond Maharaj has resigned as CFO and executive director of steelmaker ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) to pursue personal opportunities outside of the business. AMSA expects Maharaj to step down no earlier than July 31 and no later than September 30, giving it ample opportunity to identify... 

Biden's EU trade dilemma: more pain for Harley, distillers or back off metals tariffs?

By: Reuters     29th April 2021 The Biden administration faces a major dilemma in its dispute with the European Union over Trump-era steel and aluminum tariffs: back down to avoid acute pain for Harley-Davidson Inc and whiskey distillers or stick with the duties even though they are now exacerbating acute shortages for US... 

Hulamin sees sales volume recovery after lull in 2020 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th April 2021 Aluminium supplier Hulamin has reported a healthier order book and a return to operating profitability in the final quarter of its 2020 financial year, ended December 31, after having experienced strong headwinds from March 2020. The company explains in its latest results statement that local... 

Hulamin sees sales volume recovery after lull in 2020

Local content rules for PV modules posing a challenge for ‘emergency’ solar projects  

By: Terence Creamer     8th April 2021 The stipulation that solar projects bid as part of the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) include photovoltaic (PV) modules that meet the local-content thresholds and conditionalities outlined in government’s designation for PV components is causing some... 

Local content rules for PV modules posing a challenge for ‘emergency’ solar projects

Alfeco Group acquires Hulamin’s Gauteng aluminium extrusions business

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th April 2021 Integrated South African metals company Alfeco Group has recently acquired the Hulamin Extrusions plant, in Olifantsfontein, Midrand. The extrusion assets, which are now part of Alfeco’s new aluminium division, with a design capacity of 20 000 t/y, have been renamed Veer Aluminium. 

Aluminium industry aims to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050

By: Schalk Burger     16th March 2021 Global industry organisation the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has published three main pathways that the industry can take to reduce its emissions by 80% by 2050 and meet internationally agreed climate goals, supply demand for primary aluminium that will increase by up to 40% and more... 

Aluminium industry aims to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050

Green revolution gets more expensive as copper price surges

By: Bloomberg     4th March 2021 Look just beneath the surface of many of the technologies powering the energy transition and there’s a red metallic glint. Copper is a vital part of green infrastructure from grids to wind turbines, and a recent price surge threatens to make decarbonization more costly. Copper has doubled from... 

Green revolution gets more expensive as copper price surges

Seifsa partners with Venncap to help metals, engineering companies secure funding

By: Schalk Burger     4th March 2021 Industry body the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has partnered with funding consulting firm VennCap Business Solutions to assist metals and engineering sector companies to secure funding for their businesses and enable them to chart a course to... 

Seifsa partners with Venncap to help metals, engineering companies secure funding
Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba

US Commerce sets anti-dumping duties on aluminum sheet from 18 countries

By: Reuters     3rd March 2021 The US Commerce Department on Tuesday issued final anti-dumping duties on common alloy aluminum sheet from 18 countries investigated, including up to 242.8% on imports from Germany and 4.83% on imports from Bahrain. The duties were announced just hours after Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo... 

Manufacturing recovery’s slow pace a concern, Seifsa

26th February 2021 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) is concerned about the slow pace of recovery in the manufacturing sector, as depicted by the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) number of 50.9 last month – lower than the 2020 fourth quarter average. 

Manufacturing recovery’s slow pace a concern, Seifsa
MULTIPLIER EFFECT The manufacturing sector remains key to the growth and development of South Africa owing to its multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy

Companies committed to transformation honoured

26th February 2021 Entries are open for the seventh annual Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) Awards for Excellence and the federation is calling on all companies within the metals and engineering (M&E) industry to send in their submissions for the Most Transformed Company of... 

Companies committed to transformation honoured
TRANSFORMATION GOALS The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award honours and celebrates companies that have been able to transform their workplaces meaningfully

Glencore, Century Aluminum ink sale of 150 000 t of Natur-Al aluminium

By: Simone Liedtke     4th February 2021 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 aluminum plant in... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors 

By: Terence Creamer     27th January 2021 A new global partnership has been formally launched in an effort to accelerate the decarbonisation of seven heavy industrial and transport sectors that together represent 30% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and where carbon-abatement pathways have yet to be defined. Known as the ‘Mission... 

Global coalition formed to drive net-zero shift in hard-to-decarbonise transport and industrial sectors

Hulamin appoints new CFO

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2021 Aluminium supplier and exporter Hulamin has appointed Meganathan (Mark) Gounder CFO and executive director, with effect from April 1. Gounder is an experienced finance professional with over 25 years’ experience, and he has held various senior finance roles within the Illovo Sugar Group, which... 

Govt study into local lithium-ion battery value chain almost complete  

By: Irma Venter     27th November 2020 A study into the possible development of a lithium-ion (li-ion) battery value-chain in South Africa will be completed by the end of the year. The study is being undertaken by Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), on behalf of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC). It... 

Govt study into local lithium-ion battery value chain almost complete
Gaylor Montmasson-Clair

Bleak outlook for packaging, reports research company

16th October 2020 According to the 2019/20 Packaging Overview report released by full-service research company BMi Research in August, South Africa’s packaging industry could decline by more than 9% in 2020 as a result of severely impaired disposable income following the national lockdown enforced as a response to... 

Hulamin's performance continues to improve

By: Simone Liedtke     14th October 2020 Order books in all operations for aluminium supplier Hulamin have continued to improve throughout the third quarter of the 2020 financial year, and are approaching “normal levels”, the company reported on October 14. The company also confirmed that orders for beverage can products, heat-treated... 

Rio Tinto, AB InBev sign MoU to deliver sustainable, low carbon aluminium cans

By: Simone Liedtke     6th October 2020 Beer drinkers will soon be able to enjoy their favourite brew out of cans that are both recyclable and responsibly produced as a result of a global partnership between diversified miner Rio Tinto and brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). The two companies have signed a memorandum of... 

World Trade Fair postponed to next year

25th September 2020 Owing to the serious consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, event organiser Reed Exhibitions has announced the postponement of the Aluminium World Trade Fair to May 18 to 20, 2021. The trade fair was scheduled to take place in Düsseldorf, Germany from October 6 to 8, this year. 

Recycling tech boosted by crystallisation research

25th September 2020 An innovative method for aluminium recycling has been boosted by research showing the microscopic changes that take place when molten alloys cool.   University of Birmingham School of Metallurgy and Materials researcher Dr Biao Cai used sophisticated high-speed X-ray imaging to record the... 

Press tech allows for high-quality extrusions

25th September 2020 Metallurgical industry plant and integrated systems provider SMS group recently received the final acceptance certificate from aluminum frames supplier Garner Aluminium Extrusions (Garnalex). The certification was received for the complete extrusion line supplied by SMS group and its consortium... 

Press tech allows for  high-quality extrusions
GREATER ACCESSIBILITY The enclosure design is not only state-of-the-art, but also takes into account all aspects of operational safety while also ensuring better machine accessibility

Metal industry sees no need for LME green aluminium platform

By: Reuters     22nd September 2020 The London Metal Exchange does not need a separate platform to trade low carbon aluminium and should focus instead on services its users need more urgently, such as a euro-denominated steel contract, metal industry sources told Reuters. As pressure mounts on investors and companies to prove their... 

Hulamin expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st September 2020 Significant cost reduction efforts, coupled with stringent controls over working capital, helped to reduce the impact of Covid-19-related restrictions on aluminium supplier Hulamin's performance for the six months ended June 30, CEO Richard Jacob said on September 21. The company noted that cost... 

Hulamin expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year
Richard Jacob

Insimbi ‘cautiously optimistic’ as earnings fall

By: Simone Liedtke     24th August 2020 Germiston-based foundry Insimbi Industrial Holdings remains cautiously optimistic for the year ahead as its headline earnings a share for the financial year ended February 29, was 25% lower year-on-year at 10c a share. Earnings a share also decreased, but by 32% year-on-year, to 8c a share. 

South32 progressing negotiations with Eskom for Hillside  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th August 2020 Dual-listed South32 is making good progress with its negotiations with State-owned power utility Eskom on electricity prices for its Hillside aluminium smelter in Richards Bay, the group said during a media call on August 20. COO Mike Fraser said the group had reached an agreement with Eskom on a... 

South32 progressing negotiations with Eskom for Hillside
Graham Kerr

Women’s network growing steadily

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The Protea Network – for women working in the predominantly male-dominated steel and other market sectors – is growing steadily and organically since its launch in April, says steel fabrication company Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer. She launched the network to provide women in the industry... 

Women’s network growing steadily
NICOLETTE SKJOLDHAMMER The objective of the Protea Network for this year is to encourage and facilitate online forum membership, where members can engage on a daily basis

Steel awards go virtual

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The South African Institute for Steel Construction’s (SAISC’s) yearly Steel Awards will be judged and hosted virtually through a dedicated application (app) this year. This comes on the back of efforts to mitigate restrictions on social gatherings and take advantage of the digital marketing... 

Steel awards go virtual
VIRTUOSITY ASSESSED Small teams of judges attend sites physically, observing Covid-19 health and safety protocols, while others attend site visits virtually

Greater collaboration needed in steel supply chain

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 To ensure security of steel supply, the South African Institute for Steel Construction (SAISC) is calling for greater collaboration among all players in the local steel supply chain, from upstream producers to downstream merchants. Local steel demand was low before the Covid-19 pandemic, which... 

Greater collaboration needed  in steel supply chain
Photo by Adobe
RELIABLE ROLLOUT? The security of steel supply is a key concern for downstream merchants and fabricators

Market disruption expected to continue after Covid-19

By: Darren Parker     14th August 2020 The world will most likely never revert to pre-2020 norms, says steel grating and related products supplier Vital Engineering director Glen Pringle. He tells Engineering News that he expects continued market disruption and the rethinking of various elements of the market, including supply chains. 

Market disruption expected to continue after Covid-19
GRATE CHANGE AHEAD Vital Engineering needs to ensure that it is as agile as possible to take advantage of the ever-changing status quo

New duties another dose of 'slow poison' to steel industry, says Neasa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th August 2020 The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (Neasa) has reiterated its dissatisfaction with government's approval of an extended 8% safeguard duty on hot rolled coil, bringing the total duty payable on this product to 18%. This follows after Neasa launched an urgent application in the... 

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Stainless steel manufacturer Columbus Stainless advocates that the much longer life span of ore wagons achieved using 3CR12, makes it clear why stainless steel is the cost-effective choice for equipment in ore-handling processes. “Owing to its excellent properties in wet sliding conditions, the... 

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons
UP ORE DOWN Wagons manufactured by Columbus Stainless using 3CR12 transport ore for substantially longer with less degradation than those made of mild steel or other materials

Manufacturer obtains welding certification

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Rolling stock manufacturer Transmashholdings (TMH) Africa, which acts as the centre of excellence for narrow-gauge rolling stock within the TMH Group, announced in March that it had been awarded the ISO 3834 welding certification. The certification was awarded to the company by the Southern... 

Manufacturer obtains welding certification
ACCREDITED FUSION Transmashholdings Africa have been awarded an International Standards Organisation 3843 welding certification which will help draw in new clients for the company

Hulamin becomes first aluminium semi-fabricator to achieve emissions milestone 

By: Donna Slater     9th July 2020 Aluminium products manufacturer Hulamin reports that it has become the first global aluminium semi-fabricator to have a greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).   The SBTi mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their... 

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Steel merchant Macsteel has been re-evaluating its business strategy, owing to a steady decline in steel consumption over the past five years, with 2019 being a “new low” and the start of 2020 faring just as poorly – a situation that has been exacerbated by the lockdown because of Covid-19.... 

New approach adopted in uncertain steel market
BUILDING THE RIGHT WAY Macsteel aims to build its market share through strong, well-established and sustainable relationships with customers

Automation reduces costs, increases productivity

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 With companies that invest in technology and automation showing signs of being more adaptable and strategically well positioned to take advantage of an inevitable upswing in the economy, local manufacturer and supplier of cutting and welding equipment consumables as well as distributor of steel... 

Automation reduces costs,  increases productivity
ANDREW POOLE Companies which take the risk and invest are more agile, more productive and better positioned to diversify and access new markets

New booster for industry 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Nitrogen generation equipment manufacturer and supplier NitraLife has introduced a booster for its NitraCut nitrogen generator product, which ‘bolts’ onto the company’s NitraCut nitrogen generator, to increase its nitrogen delivery pressure and therefore also increase the thickness of steel it... 

New booster for industry
NitraLife MD Tom Sowry discusses the new NitraCut booster. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 11.06.2020

Future order book to relieve pressure for fabricator 

By: Darren Parker     3rd July 2020 Although the strategic decision to continue to pay employees full salaries during the Level 5 lockdown in April put pressure on its cashflow, steel fabricator and erector Betterect believes a healthy order book of projects for the next 18 months should ensure that the pressure will be relieved.... 

Future order book to relieve pressure for fabricator
Betterect MD Nicolette Skjoldhammer discusses the company’s strategic decisions, facility upgrades and the concept of ‘Team Africa’. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 12.06.2020
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