SUAL Group, one of the world's top ten aluminium producers, today announces production results for the first quarter to 31 March 2004.
Production for the quarter was 1.18 million tonnes, an increase of 11.1 per cent over the same period in 2003. This growth was driven by a 57.3 per cent rise in output at the Middle Timan mine.
515,700 tonnes of alumina was produced in the quarter, an increase of 2.9 per cent over the first quarter of 2003. Output rose at all the Group's operations, as a result of SUAL's continued modernisation and expansion of its alumina refining capacity.
Production was 228,600 tonnes, 3.5 per cent ahead of the first quarter of 2003. This performance reflects the contribution from a new pre-baked anode potline at Ural Aluminium, which was completed in December 2003. In addition, enhancements to the electrolysis process used in all SUAL's plants also contributed to the growth.
Production was 14,000 tonnes, a 6.9 per cent increase over the first quarter of 2003, reflecting increased sales of silicon in the Russian market.
Value added products
Output of semi-finished and finished products rose significantly during the period. Kamensk-Uralsky Metallurgical produced 18,100 tonnes of rolled and semi-finished products, up 22.6 per cent on the first quarter of 2003. Foil and aluminium strip production at Ural Foil (formerly Mikhailovsk Foil) was 3,200 tonnes — 60.3 per cent ahead of the equivalent period of 2003. The growth resulted from improved capacity utilisation at the plant and a successful technical upgrading programme. Total output at Demidovsky amounted to 800 tonnes, 40.0 per cent ahead of first quarter production in the previous year, due to the availability of increased capacity (the Demidovsky’s «ScovO» line operated at full production capacity) and an order from the Russian Government for aluminium cookware.
Total output of cable products was 8,900 tonnes, an increase of 47.4 per cent on the first quarter of 2003. This follows a successful technical development programme; the upgrading of production capacity; the launch of new products; and improvements in production management.
Commenting on the results, Chris Norval, the Group’s Chief Executive, said: «The year has started well, with all key production areas showing solid growth. Our commitment to upgrading existing production capacity, the potential from large-scale brownfield projects in the Murmansk and Irkutsk regions, and the Komi greenfield integrated aluminium project, mean the Group is well placed to increase significantly its output of primary aluminium in the future. In the meantime, having just completed our third set of audited accounts prepared according to International Accounting Standards, SUAL is ready to progress its business development plans.»
Production Highlights - First Quarter 2004 (Three months to 31 March 2004)
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Notes to Editors:
The SUAL Group is a vertically integrated business amongst the ten largest aluminium producers of the world. It comprises operations in 9 regions of Russia
- Mine some 4.4 million tonnes of bauxite
- Refine more than 2 million tonnes of alumina
- Produce some 890,000 tonnes of primary aluminium
- Produce more than 50,000 tonnes of silicon
- Manufacture more than 110,000 tonnes of aluminium products.