RTI’s titanium sponge exit leaves single project in US

Dec 15, 2009 | 11:05 AM | Frank Haflich

Cancellation of a new Mississippi titanium sponge operation leaves just one project left in what was once an ambitious era of front-end expansions planned for the United States.

RTI International Metals Inc. this week said it will "indefinitely idle" plans to build a $300-million sponge facility in Hamilton, Miss., and has instead signed additional long-term sponge purchase agreements with two Japanese producers, which means it will remain the only totally non-integrated domestic producer for the foreseeable future.

The 20-million pound-per-year operation was initially due to go on-stream in 2010. As a result, RTI expects to incur asset impairment and related charges of $65 million to $75 million.

The new contracts are with Japan's Osaka Titanium Technologies Co. Ltd., already a long-term supplier to RTI, and Toho Titanium Co. Ltd. The terms and amounts were not disclosed.....

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