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News

Russian investment in aluminium-zirconia wire rod production

UC RUSAL : 15 April, 2014  (New Product)
UC Rusal announces investment of over USD5.5 million in aluminium-zirconia wire rod production. The first samples of high-tech products have already been certified by consumers.
Grid and electric distribution companies are the key aluminium-zirconia wire rod consumers. The use of conductors made from aluminium-zirconia wire rod instead of traditional rod will result in a two-fold increase in transmission capacity over existing power lines. JSC Russian Grids will be the major consumer of aluminium-zirconia wire rod in Russia. Along with this, aluminium-zirconia wire rod challenges copper wires used in cable harnesses for the rapidly growing worldwide production of hybrid vehicles and the global shift to lighter vehicles.
 
This is the first innovative wire rod production for electric power industry to be launched in Russia. Aluminium-zirconia wire rod production will be sited at the Irkutsk alumimium smelter (IrkAZ). Total investments in R&D and equipment for wire rod production and thermal treatment will exceed USD5.5 million.
 
As of today, Rusal’s aluminium-zirconia wire rod production technology has been proven, and the wire rod has been certified by Russia's leading cable producers. Rusal has signed a contract with Seco Warwick to supply electrothermal equipment to IrkAZ. Under the agreement, the equipment will be supplied to the production site in September 2014, planned production levels are expected to be reached in early 2015. Once thermal treatment equipment is installed, IrkAZ wire rod production capacity will be up to 3000 tonnes per year.
 
"In 2010 the project to develop and manufacture cable wire-rod production equipment won the Russian government competition for grants from the state budget. Rusal’s Engineering & Technology Centre (ETC) has developed sophisticated equipment and patented EC grade aluminium-zirconia alloys," said Victor Mann, Rusal’s Technical Director. "Rusal's share in the Russian aluminium-zirconia wire rod market is expected to be up to 80%."
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