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Aleris completes new auto sheet mill at Belgian plant

Keywords: Tags  Aleris International, aluminum, cold-rolling mill, automotive, body sheet, Belgium plant, Barbara O'Donovan

NEW YORK — Aleris International Inc. has completed the new cold-rolling mill at its Duffel, Belgium, facility aimed at meeting increasing demand for wide automotive body sheet.

"As more of our automotive customers turn to aluminum as a solution to meet new fuel-efficiency standards, we believe our new cold mill will help us meet increased demand worldwide," Aleris chairman and chief executive officer Steven Demetriou said in a statement.

Beechwood, Ohio-based Aleris announced the $70-million expansion in 2011 (, Aug. 8, 2011).

"The expansion project met our deadlines, first coils have successfully been produced and customer qualifications are underway. Significant volumes are contracted that should enable a steady ramp-up over the next few years," a company spokeswoman said March 14 in an e-mail.

The Duffel facility already includes a mill that produces aluminum sheet for a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, transportation and defense.

The new cold-rolled mill, combined with the facility’s existing continuous annealing line, will further equip the company to produce the widest aluminum auto body sheet currently available in the industry, Aleris said.

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