There is no doubt to say Financing aluminum and metal industries are key contributors to the global economy, providing well-paying jobs and key inputs for other major industries, including energy, advanced manufacturing, construction, and auto-making.
Between 2021–2022, In 2021, steel industry employed over 14,000,000 workers and contributed over $90 billion to global gross domestic product (GDP). For the same year under review, aluminum industry employed approximately 500,000 workers and contributed $90.5 billion to global GDP.
Metal and aluminum industries are deeply integrated, and underpin continental supply chains that strengthen the global competitiveness of the North American economy. Canada is a longstanding safe and secure supplier of steel and aluminum to the U.S. defense industry.
Records have it that Canada imports more metal and steel from the U.S. than any other country in the world, accounting for nearly 45% of U.S. exports. In 2021, $17.4 billion of steel was traded between Canada and the United States.
Havelet Finance Limited remains your reliable partner when investing in the Metal and Aluminum industry. Contact us today .
The future of the Metal and Aluminum industry: what investors and lenders should consider
Like other industries, the Metal and Aluminum sector is actively developing and strives to become a self-organizing sector. The industry is included at the peak of fastest growing industries. However, the transformation of the industry towards a smart ecosystem will be gradual. The transition to the digital economy has just begun, and for now, businesses with different value creation models must coexist.
Raw materials for Metal and Aluminum industry.
Metal and Aluminum compounds occur in all types of clay, but the ore that is most useful for producing pure aluminum is bauxite. Bauxite consists of 45–60% aluminum oxide, along with various impurities such as sand, iron, and other metals. Although some bauxite deposits are hard rock, most consist of relatively soft dirt that is easily dug from open-pit mines. Australia produces more than one-third of the world’s supply of bauxite. It takes about 4 lb (2 kg) of bauxite to produce 1 lb (0.5 kg) of aluminum metal.
Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) is used to dissolve the aluminum compounds found in the bauxite, separating them from the impurities. Depending on the composition of the bauxite ore, relatively small amounts of other chemicals may be used in the extraction of aluminum. Starch, lime, and sodium sulphide are some examples.
Cryolite, a chemical compound composed of sodium, aluminum, and fluorine, is used as the electrolyte (current-conducting medium) in the smelting operation. Naturally occurring cryolite was once mined in Greenland, but the compound is now produced synthetically for use in the production of aluminum. Aluminum fluoride is added to lower the melting point of the electrolyte solution.
The other major ingredient used in the smelting operation is carbon. Carbon electrodes transmit the electric current through the electrolyte. During the smelting operation, some of the carbon is consumed as it combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. In fact, about half a pound (0.2 kg) of carbon is used for every pound (2.2 kg) of aluminum produced. Some of the carbon used in aluminum smelting is a byproduct of oil refining; additional carbon is obtained from coal.
Because aluminum smelting involves passing an electric current through a molten electrolyte, it requires large amounts of electrical energy. On average, production of 2 lb (1 kg) of aluminum requires 15 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy. The cost of electricity represents about one-third of the cost of smelting aluminum.
The Manufacturing Process of Metal and Aluminum
Aluminum is manufactured in two phases: the Bayer process of refining the bauxite ore to obtain aluminum oxide, and the Hall-Heroult process of smelting the aluminum oxide to release pure aluminum.
The Bayer process: First, the bauxite ore is mechanically crushed. Then, the crushed ore is mixed with caustic soda and processed in a grinding mill to produce a slurry (a watery suspension) containing very fine particles of ore. The slurry is pumped into a digester, a tank that functions like a pressure cooker. The slurry is heated to 230–520°F (110–270°C) under a pressure of 50 lb/in 2 (340 kPa). These conditions are maintained for a time ranging from half an hour to several hours. Additional caustic soda may be added to ensure that all aluminum-containing compounds are dissolved.
The Hall-Heroult Process: Smelting of alumina into metallic aluminum takes place in a steel vat called a reduction pot. The bottom of the pot is lined with carbon, which acts as one electrode (conductor of electric current) of the system. The opposite electrodes consist of a set of carbon rods suspended above the pot; they are lowered into an electrolyte solution and held about 1.5 in (3.8 cm) above the surface of the molten aluminum that accumulates on the floor of the pot. Reduction pots are arranged in rows (potlines) consisting of 50–200 pots that are connected in series to form an electric circuit. Each potline can produce 66,000–110,000 tons (60,000–100,000 metric tons) of aluminum per year. A typical smelting plant consists of two or three potlines.
Byproducts/Waste: Alumina, the intermediate substance that is produced by the Bayer process and that constitutes the raw material for the Hall-Heroult process, is also a useful final product. It is a white, powdery substance with a consistency that ranges from that of talcum powder to that of granulated sugar
The largest waste product generated in bauxite refining is the tailings (ore refuse) called “red mud.” A refinery produces about the same amount of red mud as it does alumina (in terms of dry weight). It contains some useful substances, like iron, titanium, soda, and alumina, but no one has been able to develop an economical process for recovering them. Other than a small amount of red mud that is used commercially for coloring masonry, this is truly a waste product. Most refineries simply collect the red mud in an open pond that allows some of its moisture to evaporate; when the mud has dried to a solid enough consistency, which may take several years, it is covered with dirt or mixed with soil.
Clients: The effectiveness of investments and loans in the Metal and Aluminum industry depends on the quality of interaction with customers. Customers are an integral part of the smart ecosystem of the cement industry, as well as the last link in the value chain and the driving force behind the modern business model.
By the broad term “customers” we mean consumers, institutions, universities, associations and other private or public entities who buy, use, research, promote, standardize, innovate and make important decisions in the cement industry.
With innovative technical solutions, customers can access real-time supply and demand information. Direct communication between end users, manufacturers and distributors of cement will allow better planning and fulfillment of orders with specified requirements. Active interaction between the parties will allow those responsible for all parts of the value chain to make the right strategic decisions. It is important for investors to understand the importance of digital technology to the Aluminum industry.
Investment in the Metal and Aluminum Industry : Financing and loans.
Havelet Finance Limited is a Channel Island Finance and loan company with practical existence in funding of engineering projects and the modernization of Metal and Aluminum industry globally. Our team is ready to develop customized financial models and lending solutions for financing the construction of Metal and Aluminum plants.
We also offer direct investments in the Metal and Aluminum, including lending and construction, expansion or modernization of existing facilities.