Aluminum sector ready to grow: execs

Apr 11, 2013 | 01:13 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Alcoa, Randall Scheps, Davenport, Rio Tinto Alcan, Jean Simon, Noranda, Layle

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. — The aluminum industry is prepared to meet increasing demand from the automotive industry and other potential growth markets, industry executives say, either by adding new rolling capacity or expanding or retooling existing facilities.

There currently is enough capacity to meet aluminum demand from the automotive sector, Randall Scheps, director of automotive marketing at Pittsburgh-based aluminum producer Alcoa Inc., said during a roundtable discussion at the Aluminum Association’s spring meeting in Isle of Palms.

The trick will be engaging customers early enough in the development process to determine whether and when new capacity might be necessary, he said. "We can’t have them calling 12 months before they need 100 million pounds of metal. But certainly, if they call us three years ahead of time we can make it happen either by adding new rolling capacity or converting existing capacity from one market to another."....

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