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Page 1: Molybdenum production increased in Q2 2013

metal-powder.net8 MPR January/February 2014

Molybdenum production increased in Q2 2013

Aluminium plant to increase powder production

Global use of molybdenum in the second quarter of 2013 was 127.3 million lb, up 4% from 122.6 million lb in the previous quarter, according to figures released by the International Molybdenum Association (IMOA).

Global production also increased by 7% from the first quarter, rising to 131.3 million lb.

China remained the biggest user, with 41.9 million lb in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 9% from 38.6 million lb in the previous

Global use of molybdenum in the second quarter of 2013 was

127.3 million lb, up 4%.

quarter, although 25% down compared to the same quar-ter in 2012. Europe was the second largest user with 35.4 million lb, down fractionally from 35.5 million lb in the pre-vious quarter but an increase of 5% compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

Usage in the USA increased by 5% to 13.7 million lb com-pared with 13.0 million lb in the previous quarter. Use in Japan also increased slightly, rising by 4% to 14.7 million lb from 14.1 million lb in the previous quarter.

Usage in the CIS countries increased fractionally from 5.6 to 5.7 million lb, whilst usage in other countries also increased from 15.8 to 16.0 million lb.

Production in China in the second quarter of 2013 reached 47.5 million lb, an increase of 18% compared with the previous quarter and just eclipsing production in North America at 46.5 million lb. South American produc-tion increased slightly from

26.9 million lb in the first quarter of 2012 to 27.7 mil-lion lb in the second quarter, whilst production in other countries remained static at 9.4 million lb.

“Production and use recovered slightly over the previous quarter, but the pic-ture was mixed, regionally,” commented IMOA secretary-general Tim Outteridge. “Outside China, there were two consecutive quarters of growth in use.”

Aluminium producer UC RUSAL has announced plans to invest €4 million in modernising its SUAL powder metallurgy plant in Shelekhov, Russia.

The plant is to acquire a HOSOKAWA Alpine classifier mill, which will help increase production capacity by 30% as well as launching a new range of ultra-high quality alu-minium powders. The material is used in construction, in particular in the production of autoclave aerocrete.

The installation of the new equipment is part of a broader modernisation of the aluminium powder produc-tion project. Assembly works are being carried out at the plant, scheduled to complete in January 2014, and the new equipment will run at full capacity in August 2014.

The Russian and Commonweath of Independent States (CIS) aer-ocrete industry is the world’s fastest growing aerocrete market, and is a key consum-er of UC RUSAL’s aluminium powder. The consumption of aluminium-based gas-sing agents has been grow-

ing by 8-12% annually with an increasing demand for high-quality agents. With consumption volumes up to 12,000 tonnes, RUSAL’s mar-ket share will reach 60%.

RUSAL also exports alu-minium powder to Europe. According to data from the European Association of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Manufacturers, the produc-tion of aerocrete blocks with aluminium-based gassing agents used in housing con-struction has been increas-ing. Turkey, Denmark and the UK are market leaders.“The introduction of a wide range of water-retention powders and pastes will enhance our position within the market,” said Alexey Arnautov, director of UC RUSAL’s Aluminium Division West. “The new classifier mill will not only improve the quality of our products and process safety signifi-cantly, but also increase the plant’s monthly production capacity of new, different in terms of particle composition aluminium powders used in aerocrete production by up to 120 tonnes.”

Sandvik moves further into drilling marketSandvik plans to purchase Varel International Energy Services Inc, a supplier of drilling solutions focus-ing on hardmetal drill bits, downhole products for well construction and well com-pletion, for around $US740 million.

Varel’s main customers come from the oil and gas sector, with some in the mining and construction industries. Its manufacturing sites are located in Houston, USA; Matamoros, Mexico; Aberdeen, Scotland; Tarbes,

France; and Kurgan, Russia; while its head office is based in Carrollton, Texas, USA.

Varel’s revenues in 2013 were around US$340 million and it employs about 1,300 people.

Sandvik says that Varel will form a new product area within its Sandvik Venture business area.

“The acquisition forms a platform to enable Sandvik to enter into drilling solu-tions in the oil and gas sec-tor,” said Tomas Nordahl, president of Sandvik Venture.

MPR0114_News 8 29-01-2014 10:18:08

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