Titanium past the bottom of the trough setting VSMPO-AVISMA for growth

The world's top titanium producer VSMPO Avista has revised its development program, according to CEO, Mikhail Voevodin, speaking exclusively to RT Business.

MV:  “I think that the global titanium market is passed the bottom of the trough. VSMPO, as the player which controls a third of the market, is also recovering. 2010 has become the turning point – volumes are increasing, and we are anticipating even more substantial growth of around 20% in 2011.”

RT:  Back in 2007, your company agreed on a programme aimed at increasing capacity to 46 thousand tonnes of titanium production per year, and has postponed this because of the crisis.  When do you plan to achieve this goal?

MV:  “Our development concept till 2015 implies a shift from the raw materials market to the manufacture of more advanced products in area of industrial titanium. I should point out that VSMPO AVISTA is the only vertically integrated holding with titanium grain at the input and finished products at the output. There are no equivalents in the world.”

RT:  China is increasingly becoming an active player on the titanium market. How does this change things?

MV:  “China as a new player on the titanium market, started by producing products for use in industry. But it's now moving into the production of titanium products that are sold to the public. This has resulted in some dumping of products, which has had the familiar effect of lowering prices."

RT:  There are proposals to create a special economic zone in the so-called titanium valley in Russia.  What difference will this make?

MV:  “The idea originated in 2006. Intuitively, we felt that we needed to create new production plants here. A free economic zone is a good way to attract financial and technological investment.”

RT: Who has already shown interest and what needs to be done to attract more firms?

MV:  “First of all, we are inviting our partners and our buyers. These are the companies like Boeing, Airbus, Goodrich and Rolls Royce. This fully corresponds with their aims to cut costs. In some sense, this will require investments, but in the following 3-4 years they will get more advanced products. Plus, the list of incentives provided in the free economic zone is extensive and attractive, especially for those companies already interested in investing in the Russian Federation.”