Boeing & Airbus back Siberian metals plant

In Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region, a new state-of-the-art processing facility for the thermo-mechanical treatment of aluminium sheets used in aircraft building is operating.

The Chkalovsky plant was built at a cost of $US 81 million and is part of the Kamensk-Uralsky Metallurgical Factory.

Global demand for aluminium sheets for the aircraft industry amounts to 80,000 tonnes a year, and that could rise to 100,000, according to the Sverdlovsk Region's governor. Chkalovsky’s plant could meet a quarter of that.

“Production from this facility will be used in space, aviation, and engineering and not only in these areas:  more uses are sure to follow in time,” assured Eduard Rossel, Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region.

Contracts with the world’s largest aircraft industry leaders Boeing and Airbus, were signed 2 years ago – a unique deal, given that the factory had not been built at the time. Now they are looking forward to a new source of aluminium sheet production in Russia.

“This is a long-term contract and supplies will answer the needs of Boeing in the coming years,” expressed hopes Jeffrey Henley, Sales Director at Boeing.

The factory will be able to produce aluminium sheets up to 2.5 thousand millimeters wide and 15 thousand millimeters long – in demand for both new space and aviation technology.

“Russian interests will be our priority.  We are counting on more airplanes being built in the country, and already planning to increase production volumes accordingly,” confirmed Vladimir Skornyakov, the president of Aluminium Products.

Turnover is expected to hit $US 160 million a year. The factory should be fully operational by the end of 2008.