OREANDA-NEWS. June 26, 2012. UC RUSAL (SEHK: 486; Euronext: RUSAL/RUAL; MICEX-RTS: RUALR), the world’s largest aluminium producer, is pleased to announce the completion of the first stage of its Aluminium Division West modernization.

The modernization has resulted in a significant increase in the share of value-added products (VAP) across the Company’s three smelters, reaching 100% at the Volkhov aluminium smelter (24,000 tonnes of VAP per year), 80% at the Nadvoitsy aluminium smelter (60,000 tonnes of VAP per year) and 100% at the Urals aluminium smelter (75,000 tonnes of VAP per year).

The modernization of the Volgograd and Kandalaksha aluminium smelters is planned to be completed in the first quarter of 2013. It will enable the smelters to produce 165,000 tonnes and 75,000 tonnes of VAP respectively: the Kandalakasha smelter will produce the wire rod, the Volgograd smelter will increase the output of slabs. The increase of alloys production is underway at the Bogoslovsk aluminium smelter — the plant will be able to produce the alloys in form of small ingots and slabs for rolling mills

After the modernization is completed all smelters of the Division will reach 100% share of VAP (wire rod, foundry, slabs) in the output. These products are used in energy, wire, rolling, automotive and aerospace industries.

In the first quarter of 2012 the primary aluminium share in RUSAL sales was 63%, slabs – 11%, extrusion billets – 10%, foundry alloys – 8%, wire rod – 7%, other products – 1%.

“Given the current market environment, the switch to VAP is the most efficient approach to enable the smelters of Aluminium Division West remain above breakeven point. We see a strong demand for these products and are well positioned to be able to meet the market's needs. Our units, together with our R&D division, continue to develop new alloy production technologies and solutions for aluminium production,” said UC RUSAL Director for Aluminium Division West Alexey Arnautov.