OREANDA-NEWS. December 23, 2011. UC RUSAL (SEHK: 486, Euronext: RUSAL/RUAL, MICEX: RUALR, RTS: RUALR), worlds largest aluminium producer, is pleased to announce that RUSALs Engineering and Technology Center jointly with Siberian Federal University created a technology to produce aluminium alloys containing rare earth metals and transition materials, as well as developed efficient equipment for its implementation. The project will enable the Company to produce alloys for heavy-duty electric cables capable to transmit 1.5 times more electricity than modern power transmission lines.

One year ago RUSAL and SFUs joint innovative project won Russian Ministry of Education and Sciences bid. The received funding amounting to RUR 110 million was used to acquire equipment and expendables needed to create an experimental wire rod production area at SFU. This production area enables to carry out several operations such as casting, rolling and presswork. RUSALs engineers and SFU scientists succeeded in creation of a unique equipment.

We are very pleased with the results of our joint project. The launch of new equipment will be a serious breakthrough in the aluminium smelter production facilities development. This unique equipment is able to produce special wire rod for cables with very high mechanical characteristics. We plan to install such equipment to produce these high-tech and competitive products at the Irkutsk aluminium smelter first with the Bratsk and other RUSALs smelters following, said RUSALs Technical Director Viktor Mann.

The projects participants forecast a high demand for the products manufactured on this equipment. Several Russian companies have already expressed their interest. In particular, RUSAL has started cooperation with the Moscow and Tomsk cable plants. The first samples have already been sent to Moscow for testing.

Nickolay Dovzhenko, Director of Oil and Gas Institute at SFU, who heads the project from the University side, commented: Even at the development stage we received about thirty patents. To my mind, it is a new word in production of long components, such as electric cables, for example. It is worth noting that the introduced equipment is a large production complex compacted to one single unit. That is why it will be several times less expensive than the Western analogues. It will also allow to reduce significantly energy and metal consumption. At the same time, efficiency of production of several types of alloys using this equipment will be much higher as compared when competitors equipment is used. Also, the introduced equipment requires fewer personnel to operate.

RUSALs investment to the project amount to RUR 114.75 million. The funding will be used to launch a new production line at the Irkutsk aluminium smelter in 2012-2013. It is planned that the equipment developed and tested jointly with SFU will be used to launch a new wire rod production line with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum, as well as an automated process control system.