Gränges plans to restart production at its Newport, Arkansas facility, following US$26 million in investments to upgrade existing foil rolling mills and equipment. The facility focuses on light gauge aluminum foil for various consumer applications. The short term capacity in Newport will be 20,000 tonnes annually, which the company expects to increase over the coming years.
“This is a good opportunity for us to upgrade and use the assets we already own, and address an attractive market niche, which has been mainly served through imports,” said Johan Menckel, Gränges CEO. “We expect the investment to make a positive contribution to earnings in 2019 and beyond.”
The Newport facility produced aluminum foil for consumer applications until 2015, when it was subsequently idled with very limited business thereafter solely involving surface treatment. The facility was a part of Noranda’s rolled aluminum business, which Gränges acquired in 2016.
“This investment builds on our foil strategy as we invest to once again serve our light gauge foil customers and their growth plans,” said Patrick Lawlor president of Gränges Americas. “It is great news not only for our future customers, but also for the local community in the Newport area.”
Production in Newport is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019, after which it will gradually be expanded as the upgrade is completed.
In addition, the company previously announced plans to expand aluminum foil production for brazed components in Huntingdon, Tennessee, and a possible joint venture with with Mitsubishi Aluminum Co., Ltd. — which were aimed at producing foil for automotive heat exchanger materials and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) applications.