Issue: Dec 2006


Alcan to Invest US$9.5 Million for Automotive Sheet Upgrade at Neuf Brisach Plant in France



by Steve Barclay

Alcan will invest US$9.5 million in its Specialty Sheet
facility at Neuf-Brisach, France, to upgrade its existing automotive continuous annealing and quenching line. The project is scheduled to come on stream in the first half of 2008.

"By improving the quality and expanding product and process capabilities, this investment will further strengthen Alcan Specialty Sheet's position as a major player in the aluminium automotive market in Europe and demonstrates Alcan's strategic commitment to this market," said Christel Bories, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alcan Engineered Products.

The investment will significantly improve the aluminium strip's surface and mechanical properties, to better satisfy current customer requirements and anticipate future developments in the aluminium car body market. It will further enhance Neuf-Brisach's environment, health and safety profile.

"Alcan Specialty Sheet is a leading supplier of premium sheet products to the automotive industry, supported by unique R&D capabilities and efficient recycling solutions," said Christophe Villemin, President Alcan Specialty Sheet, "This investment is part of a continuing strategy to better align the Neuf-Brisach plant's capabilities, positioning it as a world-class manufacturing centre for automotive sheet, can stock and recycling," he added.

In May, Alcan announced that it was investing US$15 million in Neuf Brisach to add state-of-the-art aluminium can body trimming and slitting capacity, and an associated complementary packing line and new storage and dispatching capacity. In November, a further US$7 million was announced to add new capacity to recycle used aluminium beverage cans.

Alcan Specialty Sheet is a key player in the European rolling industry, and occupies leading market positions for beverage can and closures, automotive, customized industrial sheet solutions including high quality bright surface products. It includes world-class rolling and recycling operations in Neuf-Brisach (France) and Singen (Germany), as well as dedicated R&D capabilities in Voreppe (France) and Neuhausen (Switzerland). Alcan Specialty Sheet employs 2,500 people.

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