Hydro exec talks ‘frictions’ of integration

Jun 20, 2013 | 04:23 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  aluminum, Aluminum Summit, Matt Aboud, Norsk Hydro, Hydro Aluminum Metals USA, Sapa, Michael Cowden

NEW YORK — As an integrated aluminum producer, Norsk Hydro ASA is in a unique position to address customers’ concerns all along the supply chain.

But it must also reconcile the different, and sometimes competing, objectives of its individual business segments, Hydro Aluminum Metals USA LLC president Matt Aboud said June 20 at AMM’s Aluminum Summit in New York.

Hydro’s upstream bauxite and alumina business focuses on extracting the best raw materials available, its midstream—what others might refer to as primary—division looks at pricing and improving processes, and its downstream sector focuses more on customer relationships.

Midstream is the "prototypical commodity business, so we’ll go to war over a couple dollars a ton because ... every dollar really counts," Aboud said. But on the downstream side, "it’s all about the customers," their needs and providing solutions to them, which creates "frictions" between the divisions, he said.....

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