Hydro plans to invest NOK 390 million (US$39.5 million) in a new extrusion press at its aluminum manufacturing plant in Suzhou, China. The project will will serve China’s growing automotive and electric vehicle market, as well as create 75 new jobs.
“We’ve succeeded in building a platform in China toward the e-vehicle market, but we need more capacity to satisfy the market’s demand for high-end and safety-critical components,” said Paul Warton, executive vice president of the Hydro Extrusions business. “This is directly in line with our strategy, and it is why we are making this investment now.”
The Suzhou plant currently manufactures aluminum extruded tubes and profiles for local and global customers in the automotive, HVACR, marine, and industrial sectors. Among these products are profiles for HVAC systems and other heating/cooling solutions, which includes drawn precision tube, inner-grooved tube, multi-port extrusion, and extruded profiles.
The installation of a new P60 12-inch press will enable the plant to produce a range of automotive components, including crash management systems (such as bumper beams and crash boxes), as well as side sill inserts, side beams, and longitudinal beams. These products utilize proprietary high-strength alloys and require a strong competence regarding quality systems. The new press will also support other customer needs, ranging from mill-finished extrusions to fabricated assemblies.
“The new press will play an important role in helping us secure long-term customer business and will support our global product offering with a strong presence in China,” noted Erik Fossum, senior vice president at Hydro, responsible for the Chinese operation as head of the Precision Tubing business unit. “We are very excited about the decision to continue investing in China.”
Hydro expects to extrude the first billet from the new press in mid-2023.