(CLEVELAND & SZEKESFEHERVAR, Hungary, Aug. 29, 2006) -- Alcoa's (NYSE:AA) operation in Hungary announced that it has shipped its first order of turbine airfoils from Alcoa-Kofem, Ltd.
According to Laszlo Veres, Director, Manufacturing Europe/Asia for Alcoa Howmet, the first shipment follows an expansive modernization project at the Alcoa-Kofem facility. The project included a new airfoil manufacturing operation to support Alcoa Howmet's growing jet aircraft and industrial gas turbine business in Europe. "Everything came together in a timely manner for our airfoil manufacturing operation," said Veres. "Our casting specialists, nondestructive-testing operators and welders received training and earned qualifications on schedule. Additionally, the unit's first cell for performing post-cast processing operations on turbine vanes was put into service, and the operators of this cell completed training and earned approval to conduct visual checks, dimensional inspections, and finishing operations."
The turbine airfoil unit is currently installing additional production and inspection cells to accommodate the ramp-up of work that is scheduled to begin arriving in the next few months. "These accomplishments have strengthened Alcoa's ability to serve customers in Europe from its Hungarian operation," said Veres.
"We're very excited about the transformation and renovation of this facility," said Bela Forgo, Country Manager Hungary and General Manager, Alcoa-Kofem. "This significant investment strengthens Alcoa's presence in Europe and renews our product mix at Alcoa-Kofem."
Alcoa Hungary produces extrusion and rolling ingots, flat rolled products, automotive structures, truck bodies, wheels for trucks and buses, plastic closures, fasteners for the aerospace industry, as well as processing components for jet aircraft and super alloy industrial gas turbines. Alcoa Hungary is the 15th largest employer in the country, with 5,500 jobs. Alcoa's total investment of $ 900 million makes it the sixth largest investor in Hungary, and the second largest American investor. In November 2005, Alcoa announced a major $83 million modernization project in Hungary that will renew the product mix at Alcoa-Kofem toward higher value-added products. The modernization includes expanding capability and infrastructure for flat-rolled mill products, and launching a new manufacturing operation for airfoil castings, in support of Alcoa Howmet's growing jet aircraft and industrial gas turbine business in Europe.