Alcoa chairman/CEO Klaus Kleinfeld (right) and VSMPO chairman Sergei Chemezov (left), signed an agreement to establish a new venture that will forge titanium and aluminum components for aircraft manufacturers worldwide.

Alcoa, VSMPO Will Forge Aircraft Parts in Russia

Oct. 22, 2013
Landing gear, wing structures Production to start in 2016

Alcoa Inc. agreed to form a joint venture with Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA Corp. to produce forged aluminum and titanium parts for aircraft manufacturing. Alcoa chairman/CEO Klaus Kleinfeld and VSMPO-AVISMA chairman Sergei Chemezov inked an agreement establishing the joint venture at a ceremony Tuesday, October 22, in Moscow.

Alcoa’s manufacturing complex in Samara, Russia — ZAO Alcoa SMZ — casts aluminum slabs and billets, rolls aluminum sheet and flat-rolled coils, and produces extrusions and forgings, including aluminum closed-die forgings up to 3.5 mt and open-die forgings up to 14.5 mt, for aircraft, aerospace, and power generation. The Samara operation is one of two Russian plants that Alcoa acquired in 2005, which have been the object of nearly $800 million in capital investments.

In its announcement, Alcoa said the venture would combine it’s own manufacturing expertise for value-added products with VSMPO’s titanium production capabilities.

"The agreement marks an important step in leveraging Alcoa’s and VSMPO-AVISMA’s strengths in innovation and manufacturing to capture opportunities in the high-growth aerospace market," Klaus Kleinfeld stated. "This alliance will enhance Alcoa’s competitiveness and position our global aerospace business for continued profitable growth.”

The capitalization of the venture and two companies’ ownership positions were not announced, but Alcoa said it expected it to be forging parts like aircraft landing gear and wing structures by 2016 at its own plant in Samara, Russia.

Alcoa designs and manufactures closed-die forgings in aluminum, titanium, magnesium, and nickel-based alloys for aerospace applications, for example landing gear components and structural elements.

Eric Roegner, chief operating officer of the Alcoa Investment Castings, Forgings and Extrusions division said the partnership would “expand on our mutual and complementary strengths in making the largest and most advanced aerospace forgings in the world.” 

VSMPO-AVISMA is an integrated mining and metallurgy group, and the world’s largest producer of titanium ingots and forged products. As such, it has long-term titanium supply agreements in place with Boeing and Airbus, which are relying increasingly on titanium for its lightness and strength in aircraft design.

Another VSMPO official, general director Mikhail Voevodin, said the agreement would give his organization access to “unique forging equipment,” helping it to increase output and improve the consistency of its supplies to global aircraft manufacturers.

“We actively collaborate with global industrial leaders to implement large-scale projects,” stated Sergei Chemezov.  “Our partnership with Alcoa will help increase our productivity, expand our offerings to customers, and help VSMPO-AVISMA move forward on our strategy to increase the share of our value-added products.”