Alcoa plans to invest $83 million to modernize its Alcoa-Kofem Ltd. operation in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. The modernization includes adding new aluminum wheel production capability and expanding the capability of its flat-rolled products. Also, Alcoa will install equipment to launch a new manufacturing operation for airfoil castings.
Alcoa expects the project to be completed by the end of 2007. It has been involved in Hungary since it bought the state-owned aluminum producer in 1993. It acquired the state-owned Szekesfehervar Light Metal Works in 1996 and renamed it Alcoa-Kofem Ltd.
"This decision strengthens Alcoa's presence in Europe and its long-term strategic investment in Hungary. This modernization project renews the product mix at Alcoa-Kofem toward higher value-added products," said Bela Forgo, country manager for Hungary and general manager of Alcoa-Kofem.
Modernizing Alcoa-Kofem's flat-rolled product manufacturing involves expanding its brazing sheet capability to offer a full range of gauges. Brazing sheet is marketed to the automotive and heat exchanger markets. Kofem currently produces sheet, coil, and some brazing sheet.
While Alcoa-Kofem has been producing forged aluminum wheels since 1997, it will begin producing Dura-Bright aluminum wheels in Hungary. Dura-Bright is a patented treatment that penetrates the wheels to help keep them bright, reduce overall labor costs and downtime, and protects the wheels from oxidation and corrosion.
New airfoil manufacturing capability at Kofem will support Alcoa Howmet's increasing jet aircraft and industrial gas turbines business in Europe.