The aluminum smelter ZSNP in Žiar nad Hronom is preparing to establish a joint venture with U.S. Amcast Industrial Corporation. ZSNP financial director Tibor Brasen said that negotiations between the potential partners have intensified while the top officials of the two companies should make the final decision on the establishment of the joint venture in the first quarter of 1999.
The new plant should be located in Žiar nad Hronom and be engaged in the production of aluminum wheels for the automotive industry. ZSNP expects an annual production of one million wheels, which is approximately 10,000 metric tonnes. "ZSNP is very interested in this project. However, it has not become clear yet whether Amcast or its daughter company in Italy will enter the project," Brasen elaborated.
Companies clustered around ZSNP reported a gross profit of 20 million Sk in the first nine months of 1998. This means a drop of 100 million Sk compared with the projected figure. Stanislav Drgona, vice chairman of the ZSNP board of directors and ZSNP director for strategy, attributed the negative development to the bad results of the parent company, the drop in prices of aluminum on world markets, and the fact that Slovalco failed to meet its production plans. Drgona said that ZSNP losses for FY98 might amount to 336 million Sk.
ZSNP companies, according to preliminary figures, produced goods worth 9.7 billion Sk in 1998, of which 7 billion Sk was exported. Revenues of the ZSNP should come to 13.2 billion for 1998.