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May

2022

Refractories Windows

This interview gives insight into Almatis, and how we strive to be a customer centric organization. 

 

 

Refwin: Dear Ms. Barbara Steuler, thanks for the interview. Would you please give a brief introduction to Almatis’ history and its current business structure? 

Ms. Barbara Steuler: Almatis is the market leader in specialty alumina products and solutions for the high performance refractory and ceramics markets. At our core, we focus on customer centricity, innovative & sustainable products, operational efficiency, quality in everything we do, and the health & safety of our employees. 

In 2020, we adjusted our strategy to focus on speed & organizational efficiency to serve our customers’ needs. We executed this strategy throughout 2021, and despite all the supply-related challenges, were able to realize many improvements in our performance. 

Our 1000 employees operate nine industrial sites and six application and development centers, across all major regions of the world. Each major region has dedicated manufacturing facilities to meet market demand. Specific global products are produced in every region to secure quality and ensure supply to global customers. This allows our customers to source the same product & product quality in each region of the world. This is a very unique operational structure that we have in the market, which supports our overall business philosophy of being closer to our customers and serve them locally. The regionally-based operational footprint has been further strengthened in the past year by the commencement of our new tabular plant in India and the launch of our additional distribution center in Singapore for the South East Asian region. We continue to evaluate ways to further improve our sourcing position and maintain reliable supplies to our customers in all regions. 

Ms. Barbara Steuler, Chief Commercial Officer of Almatis GmbH


Refwin: What challenges did Almatis face during the COVID-19 pandemic and how have those challenges changed during the period of economic recovery? 

Ms. Barbara Steuler: COVID-19 had an major impact to our key markets of refractory and ceramics, which manufacture critical products for industries such as steel manufacturing, automotive, construction, glass, semiconductors and electronics.  The outbreak first impacted our China Operations in January 2020, which seems like so long ago, and yet the entire world is still dealing with this terrible pandemic. Our people in our operations, as well as those working from home, showed excellent work ethic and did an incredible job managing through the crisis, despite the daily challenges of volatile demand and a (mostly) home-office work environment. 

The recovery was very strong and started even earlier than we expected.  Demand returned already in September 2020, and throughout 2021 we produced at pre-crisis levels. Throughout 2021 we encountered many logistic and supply chain challenges, which unfortunately have not subsided in 2022. Global logistics issues will continue to push the macro-trend towards regional sourcing and supply chains.  Almatis is well-positioned to manage this trend as we already have the largest regionally-based operational footprint in the industry, which has been further strengthened in the past year by the commencement of our new tabular plant in India and the launch of our additional distribution center in Singapore.  We continue to evaluate ways we can further improve our sourcing position and maintain reliable supplies to our customers in all regions. 

Refwin: What do you think will be the new development trends of alumina-based refractory raw materials in the global market or regional markets in the future?

Ms. Barbara Steuler: The development trends for refractory raw materials will focus around the need for reduced heat losses and improved operational efficiency.  Alumina-spinel refractories for steel ladle lining can reduce the heat losses by 10-20 Kelvin when compared to graphite-containing carbon bonded basic bricks, which saves energy, money and reduces CO2 emissions. Sustainable initiatives for steel production will be a main driver for the refractory market around the world. One example is the trend from traditional steel production via blast furnace to EAF technology, so that scrap can be used as direct feedstock. In the coming years and decades, direct reduction processes including hydrogen will eventually replace carbon-based reduction in blast furnaces. While many of the refractory solutions required to facilitate this trend are already available, Almatis is currently in partnership with many customers to develop additional products. We strongly believe that synthetic alumina-based raw materials will play an even more vital role to cope with the new process challenges, and are innovating around the concepts of improved performance, reduced CO2 footprint and sustainable solutions. 

Refwin: Almatis has been focusing on alumina materials, which seems to be a single product strategy. Do you plan to expand your business into other raw material or mineral offerings? 

Ms. Barbara Steuler: Almatis focuses on providing alumina and alumina-based products & solutions. With more than 500 different products into more than 50 end use markets, we have by far the broadest product portfolio in the specialty alumina industry globally.  While the majority of our products are alumina, we produce specialty aggregates and calcium aluminate cements as well.  Our specialty aggregate products include alumina and magnesia-rich spinels, brown sintered alumina, and superlight weight calcium aluminate aggregates. These products were developed into our portfolio because they add value to our customers, not because they were alumina-containing. These specialty aggregate offerings allow Almatis to provide a more complete and full-purpose portfolio for refractory manufacturers, regardless of the application conditions. A simple all-alumina based portfolio, for example tabular alumina, would not allow us to provide premium performance for slag lines or alkaline resistant products for glass or cement kilns..  We strive to offer as complete a portfolio as possible, and therefore continue to investigate additional mineral solutions that could complement and broaden our portfolio, and add value to the offerings we have for our customers.  When our customers in the refractory market need additional products and solutions, we invite those ideas and are open and eager to cooperate with them.

Refwin: What is your view on the global competitive landscape, and how it is changing? Specifically, how do you view the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing compared to imported goods and the role of regional vs global sourcing trends? 

Ms. Barbara Steuler: From a global standpoint, the refractory market Asia will continue to grow the strongest, driven by the development of key infrastructure projects requiring steel. While China has historically been the growth driver in that region, India is poised to take over the role of “market growth” and will demand significantly more refractory raw materials than in past years. We target to be the leader in alumina supply to the refractory industry in India, and our commitment is shown through our new fully integrated tabular plant. This state-of-the-art facility was successfully commissioned in Q4 2021, and is currently supplying the India market with locally-made quality tabular alumina products.  Shifts in regulations (e.g. green energy, climate change), global logistics challenges and digitalization are also creating many opportunities all around the world.  Those new trends will generate additional growth in the developed regions like Europe, North America and Japan, where the legacy growth drivers of steel and GDP contribute less in the long-term. 

It’s not clear if the logistics environment from the past 2 years is indicative of a new normal in the long-term, however it is clear that there was an over-dependence on an imported supply chains, and that dependence brought too much risk.  The COVID pandemic, Suez Canal blockage, container shortages, an overall lack of vessel capacity, and now again COVID-related port delays have caused customers and consumers of raw materials to struggle to maintain operations. No region has been immune from these impacts. Without a development towards regional manufacturing and supply, the level of supply chain risk is very high. For many customers, it is still their highest concern. We are actively addressing these concerns through regional capacity expansions, and additional warehousing. Some of our expansions are incremental at existing operations, while others are greenfield expansions in a regional market, such as our new fully integrated tabular plant in India. Facilities such as this will reduce dependence on regional supplies from Europe or Asia, and will further increase the supply security for our customers.  Our new distribution center in Singapore will further strengthen our supply chain, offering backup options and inventory into this region.

Refwin: What role will sustainability play in changing the refractory market? What challenges & opportunities will this create in the refractory industry?

Ms. Barbara Steuler: Sustainability is one of the trends that clearly accelerated during the pandemic. We are actively implementing sustainability measures and pursuing the necessary sustainability chain of custody, and carbon footprint certifications. Our corporate policy is to actively reduce or avoid energy consumptions, emissions, and waste. To succeed in this area, we actively evaluate technologies and methodologies that surpass regional and local regulatory requirements. While initially some of these changes require capital, it is an investment in our business that will pay dividends in the long-term. 

Through the years, Almatis launched many products that focused on sustainable advantages, environmental impact, health & safety. Some examples are our SLA-92 as a replacement for ceramic fiber products, which not only shows a significant lifetime improvement, but also improves the occupational condition. Our Bonite and Bonite low density products offered a substantial reduction in energy consumption in lining concepts. Further we have MR 66 magnesia-rich spinel that replace chrome ore in fired magnesia bricks for cement kilns and last October we launched ES-Y 88 in China to replace fine chrome oxide in gas purging plugs. BSA 96 is a regional offering to reduce dependency on imported BFA products, which reduces scope III emissions and further is lower density and reduces overall material consumption. 

We believe that regional-sourcing is a supply chain macro-trend that will remain.  Suppliers of raw materials that are able to manufacture in-region, will have an advantage of offering reduced CO2 footprints, simply based on logistics.  The logistics CO2 footprint for many intercontinental shipments can be reduced by up to 75%, by regional sourcing.  This represents a significant impact on overall CO2 emissions, considering the amount of refractory raw materials that are imported / exported around the world.

Refwin: Many businesses are transforming their business to become more digital in their services, supply chains and ordering. What is your view and plans for digitalization to support the refractory market?

Ms. Barbara Steuler: Digital tools are a great way to provide real-time information and improve transparency for customer interaction. The pandemic crisis accelerated the process of using digital tools and processes to efficiently run our business and we will continue on that path. Order entry, material availability & supply updates are critical parts of the supply chain so that customers can make the best decisions possible with regards to managing their demand. We have implemented Pull-Loop Systems with a few customers around the world, which is working very well. This can be done locally, regionally, and globally. The purpose of digitalization is not to simply implement a digital tool to replace an existing tool or application, but rather to ensure that overall interaction process is more simplified, efficient and user-friendly. We believe there is the potential to further improve our systems and also add information transparency through digitalization.  

Closing statement:
Thank you for the opportunity for this interview and hope it gives insight into Almatis, and how we strive to be a customer centric organization. We are confident about the future outlook for refractory raw materials and look forward to working with our customers in the refractory industry to address their new opportunities and find solutions for their future challenges.

 


May

2022

CEO Succession at Almatis
5/2/2022 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Almatis News

Almatis is pleased to announce that effective May 2, 2022, Anıl Sönmez has assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Almatis Group.


Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Sönmez was the Head of Eastern Hemisphere and member of the Global Management Committee of Clariant Oil Services, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Board Member of the Clariant-Tamimi joint-venture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His previous responsibilities at Clariant included heading the Purification and Functional Adsorbents business groups, based in Munich, Germany.

Prior to Clariant, Mr. Sönmez worked for 9 years at the Borealis Group in various global management roles including finance, sales & marketing, new business development and circular economy solutions, based in Belgium and Austria.

Anıl Sönmez was born in 1983 in Bursa, Turkey.  He holds an Honors Master’s Degree in Business Administration from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland, a Master’s Degree in Industrial Management from KU Leuven, Belgium and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.


Apr

2022

Interview with Barbara Steuler, CCO at Almatis
4/29/2022 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Iron & Steel Review

"We target to be the leader in alumina supply in India, and our commitment is shown through our new tabular plant", Barbara Steuler stated in an Interview with ISR.

 

We would like to have some details of the global business of Almatis. How did the company fare in the previous fiscal?

Almatis is the market leader in specialty alumina products and solutions for the high-performance refractory and ceramics markets. At our core, we focus on customer centricity, innovative & sustainable products, operational efficiency, quality in everything we do, and the health & safety of our employees.

Our 1,000 employees operate nine industrial sites and six application and development centres across all major regions of the world. Each major region has dedicated manufacturing facilities to meet market demand. Specific global products are produced in every region to secure quality and ensure supply to global customers. This allows our customers to source the same product and product quality in each region of the world.

The global business in 2021 was very strong, as market demand returned even earlier than market predictions and our own expectations. Demand started an upward curve already in September 2020, and throughout 2021, we produced at prepandemic levels. Throughout 2021, we encountered many logistic and supply chain challenges, which unfortunately have not subsided in 2022. Global logistics issues will continue to push the macro-trend towards regional sourcing and supply chains. All regions and markets recovered and even exceeded 2019 business levels, and we adjusted our strategy to focus on speed and organisational efficiency to serve our customers’ needs. We executed this strategy throughout 2021 and, despite all the supplyrelated challenges, were able to realise many improvements in our performance. Almatis is well-positioned to manage this trend as we already have the largest regionally-based operational footprint in the industry, which has been further strengthened in the past year by the commencement of our new tabular plant in India and the launch of our additional distribution centre in Singapore for the South East Asian region. We continue to evaluate ways we can further improve our sourcing position and maintain reliable supplies to our customers in all regions.

How is the global market for alumina at the moment? Which industry is projected to become the biggest end-user for aluminas in the future? Do you foresee any new end-user for aluminas?

The refractory market will continue to grow the strongest, driven by the development of key infrastructure projects requiring steel, and the Asian region will lead this growth. While China has historically been the growth driver in that region, India is poised to take over the role and will demand significantly more refractory raw materials than in past years. We target to be the leader in alumina supply to the refractory industry in India, and our commitment is shown through our new fully integrated tabular plant. Shifts in regulations (e.g. green energy, climate change), global logistics challenges and digitalisation are also creating many opportunities all around the world. Those new trends will generate additional growth in the developed regions like Europe, North America and Japan, where the legacy growth drivers of steel and GDP contribute less in the long term.

The development trends for refractory raw materials will focus on the need for reduced heat losses and improved operational efficiency. Alumina-spinel refractories for steel ladle lining can reduce the heat losses by 10-20 Kelvin when compared to graphite-containing carbon bonded basic bricks, which saves energy and money and reduces CO2 emissions and complements ‘clean’ steelmaking. Sustainable initiatives for steel production will be the main driver for the refractory market around the world. One example is the trend from traditional steel production via blast furnace to EAF technology so that scrap can be used as direct feedstock. In the coming years and decades, direct reduction processes, including hydrogen, will eventually replace carbonbased reduction in blast furnaces.

Specifically for the Indian market, the technological aspects in refractory engineering are changing rapidly in both product design and ease of installation, thereby driving the usage of higherperforming tabular and synthetic aluminas across the value chain.

While many of the refractory solutions required to facilitate this trend are already available, Almatis is currently in partnership with many customers to develop additional products to help their products withstand even more stringent and corrosive working environments. As the technological, we strongly believe that synthetic alumina-based raw materials will play an even more vital role to cope with the new process challenges, and are innovating around the concepts of improved performance and lining life, reduced CO2 footprint and sustainable solutions.

You are setting up a new plant in India that would manufacture specialty alumina. Please give us some details on the facility.

Our new tabular plant in India is a state-of-the-art Tabular manufacturing facility that was successfully commissioned at the end of 2021. The plant is ramping up operations towards full capacity this year, and in January 2022, we started supplying the Indian market with locally-made global quality tabular alumina products. The drivers for establishing this integrated tabular making facility at Falta, West Bengal, were our strong footprint in the region for over 2 decades as well as long term association and trust from the customers. With Indian steel demand and production, together with non-ferrous and allied industries, projected to continuously rise, leveraging on the infrastructural and urban developmental plans, it was imminent that a local facility would secure the growing tabular alumina demand envisaged for the coming years.

Are the products manufactured in the new plant going to cater to the Indian market?

The products manufactured at our new plant are focused on supplies to the domestic Indian market, but being a global product, the plant can be a source for the nearby South Asian region as well. We predict that the Indian iron and steel market will continue to grow strong – driving the high performing special refractory requirements, and the advanced steelmaking technologies will demand the usage of tabular alumina aggregates in various applications. Further, the congregation of global refractory players in India makes the region a long-term growth centre, and we are excited to offer locally produced tabular alumina products to cater to this progress.

How much imports will be substituted by the products manufactured from the Falta plant?

Almatis has historically supplied much of the Indian market from our European operations. Initially, a supply chain of European tabular alumina will remain available while the plant ramps up to full capacity. Our final goal, however, is to have an independent operation in India that is able to supply the market demand and does not require supplemental tabular from other regions. With more than 500 different products in more than 50 end-use markets, we have by far the broadest product portfolio in the specialty alumina industry globally. We will continue to import calcined and reactive aluminas, calcium aluminate cements, magnesium aluminate spinels and dispersing agents to complement our domestically produced tabular and continue to offer our customers a full portfolio of high-performance products. The local base for tabular alumina will be a big boost for the market in terms of reliability of supplies, management of logistic uncertainties and most importantly, instill the confidence in the market that a global product is now available next door.

With the new plant, what will be Almatis’ contribution towards ‘Make in India’?

Our new plant in India makes a strong statement towards the “Make in India” movement. We are eager to continue this trend and bring domestic manufacturing to the tabular raw material market. The plant will not only be a flagship operation for our company, but also be a platform for additional products and innovations in the future. This new facility supports our existing operational strategy to be closer to our customers, and further is strengthened by the global trend towards regional & local manufacturing, with a focus on local supply chains.


Mar

2021

New Distribution Center in Singapore
3/17/2021 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Almatis News

Almatis is pleased to announce the launch of a distribution center in Singapore to support our customers in the Southeast Asia region. This expansion of our global presence supply chain increases our local presence and executes upon our customer-centric strategy for growth through locally available inventories and shorter lead times.

Despite having the largest operational footprint in the specialty alumina industry, Almatis recognizes the impact of unforeseen shipment delays and short-term demand on our customers’ business. Not everything in business can be forecasted, and we are committed to helping our customers’ ability to be opportunistic with short term demand and a faster responding supply chain. The COVID pandemic, and export container supply delays of the past year have further strengthened the need for regional supply chain options, and local
material availability.

Sarbapi Mukherjee, Commercial Director India & Southeast Asia stated that “this warehouse re-iterates and strengthens our commitment to the region. Southeast Asia is an essential and growing part of our overall business, and it is critical that we are able supply material to the customers in that region with realistic lead times.” Raymond Ong, Regional Account Manager, Southeast Asia believes that “through this warehouse, we will be able to improve of material availability, delivery reliability, and overall customer satisfaction.”


Mar

2020

Almatis COVID-19 Update & Approval to Operate as a Critical Business
3/31/2020 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Almatis News

Almatis is working diligently to protect the health and safety of our employees, supply chain partners and customers in order to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognize that the situation is uniquely difficult for every single one of us, without exception. In the face of great challenges, we would like to thank our global employees, whether they are onsite at the production facilities or working from home, for their perseverance and dedication to servicing our customers in these challenging times.

Almatis continues to monitor the situation closely, and will comply with all government issued operational and health guidelines. Currently, Almatis has received the requisite government approvals as a critical business in order to continue its operations in the Americas, Europe, China and Japan.

Yours sincerely
Almatis GmbH

23

Jan

2020

Work Started to Put Almatis Tabular Plant Back into Operation
1/23/2020 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Press Release

On January 22, the German Authorities concluded their investigations of the Almatis Ludwigshafen tabular alumina plant and released the accident area to Almatis.

Almatis immediately began work on the area, assessing the extent of the damages and initiating first measures for a quick and safe restart of the tabular plant. 
Almatis is grateful that no human or environmental harm resulted from the January 16 fire at their facility.
The Almatis global supply chain will be relied on to secure Tabular Alumina supply to their European customers.  Almatis produces Tabular Alumina in four other locations, including Rotterdam, Netherlands, and has available capacity to meet all customer needs.
Also, Almatis will later in the quarter commission their newest Tabular Alumina facility in Falta, India. 
All other Almatis products are not at all impacted.

16

Jan

2020

Press Release

On 16 January 2020 at around 1:45AM, a fire and subsequent explosion occurred in the sintering plant at Almatis GmbH in Ludwigshafen.

Most importantly there were no casualties. The root cause of the incident is still unknown. Our experts and the local authorities are currently investigating. The fire brigade and rescue services were immediately on site and the fire was rapidly brought under control. The extent of the damage to property cannot yet be quantified.

The effects of the accident were limited to the part of the building containing a mill, and there was at no time any danger to residents or the environment. The official representatives are currently conducting damage assessment on site.

Only the Sinter plant is affected. The Calcination and Grinding Center continue on normal product levels. The Sinter plant will remain out of operation until further notice.

Our global supply network will be utilized to ensure minimal impact for our customers. The Almatis Commercial Team will be contacting customers that may be affected in the short term.

German Version

26

Jul

2018

Almatis constructing new Tabular Alumina plant in Falta
7/26/2018 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Press Release

As demand for Tabular Alumina expands with India’s refractory requirements, Almatis is committed to support and enhance our customers’ success with Quality alumina products and excellent service. A positive outlook for Indian produced steel, leveraged by growing GDP and per capita steel consumption requires premium alumina for longer refractory life.

“Almatis is committed to providing continuous support to the Indian refractory industry,” Emre Timurkan, Almatis’ CEO said. He assured the market that, “Almatis is on a path of rapid construction to satisfy our customers’ increasing demand for high quality Tabular Alumina.”

Operating since 1995, Almatis’ India business is based in Falta with a processing plant that has been growing steadily. Now with this forthcoming, world-class facility, Almatis will expand with integrated manufacturing line in India with Tabular Alumina converters installed. This investment will enable shorter lead times and a further improvement of flexibility from a plant in the proximity of our Indian and Asian customers.

Almatis India General Manager, Sarit Kundu, who’s responsible for execution of this strategic project, affirmed Almatis’ commitment: “Quality and delivery are of prime importance to Almatis. This upcoming Falta India Tabular Alumina production facility would meet the needs of our valued Indian customers and provide supply security for this growing market”.

 

29

Aug

2017

Press Release

Almatis announces a major expansion of their Falta, India specialty alumina plant with the planned installation of a tabular alumina converter. This important backward integration investment will build on Almatis’ eighty-one years of experience producing tabular alumina.

Since initiating production in India in 1995, Almatis has built a leading position in supplying India's rapidly growing refractory, ceramic and polishing markets. To quickly improve the ability to serve the local Indian market, plant construction will begin soon. Once completed, the facility will competitively serve the growing Indian demand with a fully integrated, strong local presence.

“Making our Falta plant a fully backward integrated tabular production facility expands our tabular capacity and strategically locates production near a growing market that is very important to Almatis’ future,” said Almatis Chief Commercial Officer, Stefan Rieder, when announcing the expansion.

With the expansion, all Almatis global environmental and quality management systems will be in place to assure high quality products, delivery reliability and social responsibility.

“The Indian market has always expressed their appreciation for the Premium Alumina that Almatis delivers,” said Commercial Director India, Sarbapi Mukherjee. “Our alumina expertise is matched by our excellent local service and technical support capabilities. This expansion of our Falta plant will further enhance the customer experience with value added premium alumina, available at their doorstep.”

04

Apr

2017

Press Release

The 2017 Planje Award recognizes Dr. Buhr for his important achievements in the research of high alumina refractories and for developing the best alumina refractory solutions for customers’ challenging high temperature environments. Dr. Buhr brings strong leadership to Almatis’ product development and technical application support with teams in Europe, Americas and Asia. He has authored near 85 papers on refractories and his leading-edge refractories research continues to develop enhanced alumina products at Almatis.
Dr. Buhr presented to the gathered audience on “Mineralogy in Refractories” and the continued value of phase diagrams in research excellence. He 

in turn took the opportunity to honor his PhD thesis advisors -- Eduard Woermann and Manfred Koltermann -- who guided his development as a young researcher of high alumina castables.

21

Nov

2016

New CCO for Almatis
11/21/2016 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Press Release

Almatis has appointed Stefan Rieder as Chief Commercial Officer as per 1st of November 2016. As member of the Almatis Executive Committee and located in the group's global head office in Frankfurt, Mr. Rieder will be responsible for Global Sales, Marketing and Business Development driving the growth strategy of Almatis as the leading player in the field of specialty alumina.  Mr. Rieder joins with 20 years of international business management experience gained in chemical, specialty glass and plastics industries for companies like Hoechst AG, SCHOTT AG and Borealis AG whereas he spent the majority of his career on international assignments in Europe and Asia where he successfully managed 

businesses such as pharmaceutical packaging.  
 
Henning Stams, CEO of Almatis commented: “I am very happy to see Stefan joining as we now can better focus on the need of our customers globally and further strengthen our forward-oriented engagement to develop mutual benefit along promising trends, leveraging on our strong technological knowledge and longstanding experience in this industry”.


Sep

2016

Five Years after Market Launch – Experiences with BSA 96
9/9/2016 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Almatis News

In 2011 Almatis introduced a new high alumina sintered aggregate to the market – BSA 96. The idea was to offer a European alternative to other high alumina aggregates – fused, natural or sintered. This paper will present a brief overview of the special characteristics of BSA 96 and describe the experience over the past five years using BSA 96 in various applications such as AMC bricks, high alumina bricks and blast furnace runner castables. Special focus will be on the formation of so-called CAM phases found in sintered castables with BSA 96 as the matrix component together with fine spinel and cement.

25

Feb

2016

Press Release

With the challenging economics of today’s global aluminum industry driving significant changes in the North American non-metallurgical alumina industry, Almatis has the commitment and capability to deliver its customers uninterrupted, secure local supply for their specialty alumina needs. Backward integrated with the 2013 purchase of the Burnside alumina refinery, Almatis has unique control of its supply chain and can provide its customers long-term stability in this time of big industry shifts. The recent announcements of curtailment and financial protection of the three other U.S. alumina refineries exposes the potential vulnerability of non-metallurgical alumina buyers to the swings in metal values.

Investments in Almatis Burnside have upgraded it to a chemical grade facility that supplies Almatis operations in the US and Europe with a high quality feedstock for producing their products and also supplying the non-metallurgical alumina chemical markets. The Burnside alumina refinery has an annual capacity of about 500,000 metric tonnes. Besides fulfilling internal feedstock requirements, Almatis will supply calcined alumina and hydrated alumina to fill the void resulting from the curtailments. Significant investments have been brought forward to ensure Almatis is a strong, long-term, reliable partner for the U.S. refractory, ceramic, polishing and chemical industries.

“Almatis has the only North American refinery operated and maintained solely for the quality needs of the specialty alumina and chemicals markets and thus completely independent from the much more volatile metallurgical grade alumina market,” stated Almatis CEO Henning Stams.  “Our production plants and those of our existing and new customers can rely on this,” he added.


Feb

2016

Trends in Clean Steel Technology and Refractory Engineering
2/23/2016 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Almatis News

The permanent development of steel producing technology is a main driver for the development of new and improved refractories. The paper briefl y discusses the trends in steel secondary metallurgy and how modern engineered refractories provide innovative solutions for challenging conditions in the steel making process. Examples are given how refractories contribute to steel quality and economical improvements in the process.


Feb

2016

Almatis News

flow calorimetry and quantitative in-situ X-ray diffraction (QXRD) during hydration. Heat flow was calculated by combining the QXRD data obtained during hydration of the mixes together with the standard enthalpies of formation of the participating phases. Comparing the observed heat flow from calorimetry with the heat flow calculated from QXRD data, good conformance could be obtained. The results show a clear pronounced influence of CA2 on hydration of CAC and its heat of hydration during the first 22 hours. After more than 10 hours the hydration of CA2 gives the major contribution to the heat flow. Introduction The hydration of calcium-mono-aluminate (CA) is part of several previous investigations and is well known. In common calcium aluminate cements (CAC) CA is the main hydraulic phase responsible for early strength development. Although recent investigations showed that CA reactivity can be increased by its fineness [1], it is worth having a closer look at CA2 - the second main phase in most white CACs. CA2 is known to be weakly hydraulic and was not of great interest in past investigations which looked into the hydration of CAC [2]. The hydration of synthesised CA and CA2 in different ratios together with ZrSiO4 as an inert filler, were investigated with isothermal heat flow calorimetry and in-situ X-ray diffraction. Through a combination of both methods the heat flow contributions of CA and CA2 were evaluated.

Abstract: Calcium-mono-aluminate (CA or CaAl2O4) and calcium-di-aluminate (CA2 or CaAl4O7) are the main phases in iron free high alumina cements (CAC) which are used in demanding refractory applications. It is well known that the hydraulic reactivity of calcium aluminate phases increases with the calcium content of the phase, and therefore CA shows higher reactivity than CA2. Some literature even claims that CA2 would be an almost inert Phase with regard to hydraulic reactivity. This study investigates the Hydration of pure CA and blends of CA and CA2 using heat 


Jan

2016

Applications for Alumina in the Automotive Market
1/16/2016 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Almatis News

Alumina, due to its powerful physical, thermal and electrical properties is by far the most used and cost-effective ceramic material in technical applications. As a result of the high mechanical strength, excellent chemical resistance, electrical properties and dimensional stability at high temperatures, alumina ceramics makes an ideal material for many parts in automotive applications. Some of the typical applications include catalytic substrates, electronic substrates, various mechanical wear parts, spark plugs and polishing. Almatis offers the broadest alumina portfolio in the industry with a broad variety of product solutions for the industry.

04

Dec

2015

New CEO Appointment for Almatis
12/4/2015 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Press Release

Effective December 1, 2015, the Board of Atterbury S.A., a subsidiary of OYAK, appointed Henning Stams as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Almatis Group. 

Mr. Stams succeeds Taco Gerbranda who has been appointed to the position of Advisor to the Board of Atterbury S.A., which will benefit from his vast corporate and Almatis experience.  Dinç Kızıldemir, Chairman of Almatis, and an Executive Vice President of OYAK commented: 

“We would like to thank Taco for his successful management and leadership of Almatis over the last years and especially during the process of the acquisition by OYAK.”

Prior to his appointment as CEO, Henning Stams was Almatis’ Vice President of Supply Chain and IT and served as a member of the Group’s Executive Committee from 2009.  He joined Almatis in 2004 as Chief Information Officer, with the primary responsibility for overseeing the carve-out of Almatis from Alcoa.  Previously he held a variety of different management and consultancy positions. Mr. Stams holds a Master’s Degree in Science from the University of Cologne and also serves as a judge at the Regional Court of Frankfurt.

Henning Stams stated “Our industry is currently facing challenging global market conditions.  My top priority will be to ensure that Almatis continues to be a reliable, competitive, value-adding and hence preferred solution and supply partner.  Through leveraging our strong technological knowledge, we shall further focus on offering best-fit solutions to our customers.”

01

Sep

2015

DIC completes sale of Almatis to OYAK
9/1/2015 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Press Release

1st September 2015: Dubai International Capital (DIC), the private equity arm of Dubai Holding, today announces that it has completed the sale of Almatis (the "Group"), the world's leading supplier of premium alumina for the refractory, ceramic and polishing industries to OYAK, Turkey's largest private pension fund. The completion of this sale follows receipt of all relevant regulatory approvals.

 

Taco Gerbranda, Chief Executive Officer of Almatis, said: “We are grateful to DIC for their support and the strong partnership that we formed during their ownership period. This partnership was critical in allowing us to undertake very ambitious strategic steps that ensured the longer term stability of our company by extending our global presence, increasing capacity and becoming vertically integrated, with the single objective to better serve our customers.

 

Today marks the start of a new chapter for Almatis, with an owner who has expertise in our sector. This transaction positions Almatis very well to support the growth of our customers, grow with them and at the same time strengthen our leadership in the premium alumina industry. With its strong understanding of Almatis' customer needs, the market opportunities and challenges, OYAK is well placed to foster Almatis' continuous development, pursuing its long-term strategy.”

David Smoot, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai International Capital, commented: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the sale of Almatis. During our ownership, our close collaboration with the management team and investment in the business allowed the Group to achieve significant growth and improvements in its operations. The Group has an extremely attractive growth potential and OYAK is the right partner to support it in the next phase of its development.”

14

Jul

2015

OYAK signs agreement to acquire Almatis
7/14/2015 12:00:00 AM.ToString("dd. MMM yyyy")
Press Release

Rotterdam, the Netherlands – 14 July 2015: Almatis (the "Group"), the world's leading supplier of premium alumina for the refractory, ceramic and polishing industries, today announced that its shareholders, including majority owner Dubai International Capital LLC ('DIC'), have signed an agreement to sell the Group to OYAK, Turkey's largest private pension fund. 
 

Taco Gerbranda, Chief Executive Officer of Almatis, said: “As a long-term investor, OYAK is expected to significantly strengthen Almatis' financial position and to support the Group's continued growth. This is a major milestone for Almatis and we look forward to the completion of the transaction”

Completion of the transaction is conditional upon receipt of all relevant regulatory approvals.