Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek (left), Reinhard Fleer (centre) and Mayor Štefan Mišák of Levice (right).
Alcan Engineered Products' Extruded Products Division launched operations on May 15 at its new plant in the Levice Géňa industrial park in Levice. Their production line currently consists of the first of two aluminium extrusion presses, which, when they reach their full production capacity, will churn out 25,000 tonnes of light-alloy based products per year.
"We decided to locate our investment in Levice because we found a perfectly prepared industrial zone, professional local administration and advantageous conditions - including infrastructure, qualified labour and good tax conditions," Udo Nöbel, Alcan's director for Eastern Europe, told The Slovak Spectator.
Alcan has invested $35 million into the plant.
Nöbel said that the company is hoping to be part of the Slovak economy's rapid growth as well as strengthen and expand its business in Eastern Europe.
Reinhard Fleer, president of Alcan Extruded Products, said the local demand for aluminium products should continue rising on the long term.
"We expect the demand for soft alloys in Eastern Europe to grow on an average of 5 percent a year, for the next 20 years," he said.
The new plant will employ 200 people, and as there is a high unemployment rate in the Levice region and the company will be offering its employees competitive salaries and remuneration packages, Nöbel said he is not afraid of running into recruitment problems.
Alcan Extruded Products' Slovak plant will supply Alcan's customers with production centres in Central and Eastern Europe.
Fleer said that the auto manufacturing sector, especially those carmakers with production lines located in Slovakia (Volkswagen, Peugeot and Kia), and the construction sector make up Alcan's key sales segment.
A broad portfolio of pressed aluminium products made mainly for the construction, automotive, logistics and transport industries, will be produced in close cooperation with the Alcan plant located in the city of Děčín in the Czech Republic. The Děčín plant is roughly twice as large as the one in Levice.
Nöbel said that Alcan considers traditional Slovak aluminium producers such as ZSNP and Slovalco to be its main competitors in Slovakia but did not want to discuss details of their competitive strategy at this stage of their development.
ZSNP and Slovalco were contacted by The Slovak Spectator regarding Alcan's entrance on the market, but they did not want to comment.
Alcan is a leading global materials company dealing with bauxite mining, alumina processing, primary metal smelting, power generation, aluminium fabrication, engineered solutions as well as flexible and specialty packaging.
Alcan has 68,000 employees in 61 countries and regions, including those involved in its joint ventures, and posted revenues of $23.6 billion in 2006.
The company has featured on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index steadily since 2003.
4. Jun 2007 at 0:00 | Robert Valjent