VOL. 11 September ISSUE YEAR 2010
in Vol. 11 - September Issue - Year 2010
French Group Wheelabrator Allevard Inaugurates A Major New Plant In Kurgan, Russia On 20 July 2010
Wheelabrator Allevard is continuing to expand and undertaking new investments. The group is setting up operations on the booming market in Russia, thus confirming its international growth and position as the world leader in its core business. The new Kurgan plant is a benchmark unit in terms of industrial process and environmental protection and will manufacture high-quality products.
On 20 July Yves Barraquand, Chairman and CEO of Wheelabrator Allevard, inaugurated the Group’s 14th abrasives plant in Kurgan (Russia), in the presence of Deputy, Oleg Bogomolov, governor of Kurgan, Jean de Gliniasty, the French Ambassador to Moscow, French senator Aymeri de Montesquiou and a number of other key figures from Russia and France.
Situated near Yekaterinburg in the Urals, 1700 km from Moscow, the Kurgan plant lies at the heart of a region providing 15% of Russia’s industrial output, with large-scale activities in the metallurgy, mechanical engineering, energy and chemical sectors.
This location was selected because it offers a number of strategic advantages: locally-available energy and raw materials (scrap); proximity of a major market for metallurgical products in the Urals and, further afield, in the rest of Russia and certain neighbouring countries such as Kazakhstan; and the opportunity to create a joint venture with Russian group Kurganstalmost (KSM). This metal bridge manufacturer took a minority stake in this investment and provided the land and qualified personnel.
The policy of supporting foreign investment in industry being implemented by the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President in the Urals Federal District, Mr Vinnichenko and his deputy, Mr Sevrikov, as well as the Governor of the Kurgan region, Mr Bogomolov, was particularly appreciated.
Construction of the Kurgan plant represents an investment of 15 million euros.
The plant capitalises on the advances made at the two research centres and the other plants owned by the Group. The technologies equipping it stand at the leading edge in terms of productivity, quality, and environmental protection – water treatment in particular: the plant will consume five times less water than required by the usual standards.
The initial shot production capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year could be increased subsequently to 40,000 tonnes in line with market growth. For the time being the new plant will enable Wheelabrator Allevard to double its sales in Russia and, eventually, cover nearly half of the national market.
The Group’s range is based on high-quality products that offer excellent wear resistance and can hence be reused several times, enabling users to reduce the volumes of shot they consume by 50% or more.
This new investment illustrates the Group’s ability to plan for the future; after a decade of strong growth (75% increase in turnover between 2003 and 2008), Wheelabrator Allevard’s sales dropped sharply in 2009 to 311 million euros (down 35% by value). The capital goods, automobile and construction industries, its main outlets, were hit particularly hard by the global economic crisis.
However, the stock reductions carried out during 2009, government stimulus policies (e.g. car scrappage schemes), the gradual recovery in northern countries and ongoing strong activity in emerging industrial countries are laying the groundwork for a return to growth in 2010.
Wheelabrator Allevard hence intends to continue consolidating its positions: having completed major extension work at its French plant in Le Cheylas in late 2008 and set up industrial operations in Russia in 2010, the Group is considering substantial developments in China in the medium term.
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