ElvalHalcor S.A., part of Viohalco S.A., commissioned its new four-stand tandem hot rolling mill in Oinofyta, Greece. The completion of the hot mill is the first phase of the company’s five-year plan to more than double its flat rolled aluminum products capacity.
During the commissioning, the hot mill supplied by SMS group successfully rolled aluminum strip in thicknesses between 1.8 and 12 mm and widths of over 2.6 m. As early as a few weeks from the commissioning, ElvalHalcor rolled some 70 high quality coils that are suitable for a wide range of industrial applications on the new, highly flexible mill in one production shift.
“The new tandem hot rolling mill that we present to you today is of the highest technology and it is the most modern in the world in terms of hot rolling equipment,” said Lambros Varouchas, managing director of ElvalHalcor during a presentation in July 2020. “In Europe, only three factories have a four stand hot rolling mill, but what we have installed is the most powerful and the most contemporary of its type.”
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the specialists from ElvalHalcor and SMS were able to accomplish the commissioning activities without interruption. With travel restrictions in place, increased use was made of digital communication channels, also involving to a great extent experts based in Germany.
With the new tandem hot rolling mill in full operation, ElvalHalcor presented a Final Acceptance Certificate to SMS in January 2021. Varouchas noted, “The key to the successful completion of the project were the excellent specialists on both sides, who stood up to the special challenges with close cooperation and great commitment. This has further strengthened our longstanding trustful relationship.”
ElvalHalcor is investing EUR 150 million in equipment, technology, and infrastructure as part of a five-year plan to expand its operations and more than double its flat rolled aluminum products capacity. With the completion of phase one, the company is continuing the process of installing a cold rolling mill from MINO S.p.A. as part of phase two. This will pave the way for the company to serve more demanding markets, such as automotive and aerospace.
In February 2021, ElvalHalcor decided to further expand its infrastructure through the ordering of a new lacquering line from ANDRITZ for its Oinofyta facility. The scope of supply for the line includes the cleaning section, mechanical equipment for strip transport, tension leveler, coaters (chemicals and lacquer), side trimmer, oiler, full electrical and automation package, and start-up of the plant. The lacquering line will be able to process 2,050 mm wide aluminum coils at a rate of 200 m/min.
Michael Stasinopoulos, executive member of the board of Viohalco, noted during the July 2020 presentation that ElvalHalcor is also planning to invest in aluminum recycling capacity, which will create approximately 400 new jobs when completed.