India’s Nalco and Canada’s Almex Get Closer to Joint Venture

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Late last year, India’s National Aluminium Company (Nalco) had talked of striking up a joint venture (JV) in India with two companies – Canadian firm Almex and Rusal of Russia.

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This week, according to a news report, Nalco has firmed up plans to set up the JV with Almex for the production of automotive-grade aluminum. The multimillion-dollar project, according to the report in Business Standard, is expected to come up at the downstream aluminum park at Angul in Odisha Province, near Nalco’s aluminum smelting unit over 50 acres of land.

Almex reportedly has responded to the expression of interest by Nalco. The JV will produce auto-grade aluminum, and also of special alloys that find applications in aerospace. At present, this high-grade aluminum is not manufactured in the country. Nalco will have the majority equity in the JV.

In India, aluminum makes its way into about 300 applications, compared with over 3,000 applications worldwide.

The second JV expected with Rusal, too, is expected to manufacture special-grade aluminum to be used in metro trains, electric vehicles, aerospace and automobile sector, according to Nalco Chairman and Managing Director T.K. Chand.

When ready, the JV between Nalco and Almex will have an annual production capacity of 60,000 tons. Nalco has already committed supply of 50,000 tons a year of molten aluminum to downstream companies that chose to install their units at the park. Almex specializes in the production of aerospace-grade aluminum, while Rusal is a big player in primary aluminum, aluminum alloys, foil and alumina.

Propelled by profits, Nalco has been working on expanding its aluminum, alumina and power capacities.

The company earlier announced it planned to achieve a target of over 1 million tons of production capacity by 2020. In order to reach this goal, the company was implementing several new major capital expenditures.

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The Odisha aluminum park has already bagged one overseas investment from Bahrain-based Midal Cables.

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