Aluminium made in Italy, and more, on tour in India.
by Alberto Pomari
The megacity of Calcutta was the venue of the Bengala Global Business Summit, held in the new Biswa Bangla International Convention Center in Newtown Kolkata, where a delegation from Italy was present along with delegations from South Korea, France, Germany, Japan, Czech Republic and United Kingdom. The slogan of the event (“Bengal Means Business”) reveals a lot about the changes taking place in this vast area, which up to not very long ago was unavailable for business relationships with countries capable of providing advanced technologies for the different economic sectors in the region, from leather to fisheries, to mining, right up to advanced electronics and infrastructures. The Business Summit, attended by the main local authorities and by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, along with the Minister of Industry of the Federal Government, had as its main objective the promotion of business and investments, for this reason the Italian General Consul in Calcutta, Damiano Francovigh, and the Italian Ambassador in India Lorenzo Angeloni actively supported the initiative by taking art in the various meeting sessions. The Italian delegation, organized by Alberto Cavicchiolo and Francesca Bruni, Art Valley, and promoters of the IndoItalian MetalHUB initiative, represented the national metallurgical associations and production activities linked to the aluminium world, and included Maurizio Sala, President, Amafond; Mauro Cibaldi, President, Centroal; Mario Conserva, President, Metef; Alberto Pomari and Giuseppe Giordano, from the international A&L Alluminio e Leghe magazine; Francesco Esposito, Country Managing Director & CEO, Danieli India; Carmelo Brocato, Danieli. The delegation was completed by Italcertifer’s CEO Carmine Zappacosta, by Lamberto Cremonesi from Crew, a well-known Brescia-based engineering company, and by members of the leather industry’s association. Besides taking part in the Business Summit, the Italian delegation visited one of the most important areas for the production and machining of aluminium in India, from Calcutta to the Odisha region right up to the capital, Bhubaneswar, where some of the most important bauxite mines and primary production plants are found. The direct meeting between the representatives of numerous Indian companies in the industry and the Italian delegation took place in Bhubaneswar, with a very high attendance at the conference presided by the top local authorities, during which Italian participants showed the best of the country’s technology and performances regarding the advanced use of aluminium in packaging, constructions, electrical applications and the automotive industry. The visit was completed by a tour of Nalco’s plants; this large Government-owned company is an important producer of primary aluminium and is very active in the promotion of the light metal. It is currently preparing a huge Aluminium Park, where rolling and extrusion plants, casting foundries and downstream machining of the light metal will be installed, and in this respect the cooperation between India and Italy may have important technical and economic meaning, especially as regards the transfer of know-how and advanced machinery.
The last stop of the Indian tour was in Mumbai, with a meeting between the delegation and the clients from the local underground train company, centred on the capability of Italian companies to supply complete know-how for these railway infrastructures, from the construction of lightweight railway carriages, to assembly techniques, to machinery, right up to components and signal systems.
With an envisaged annual production of over three million tons of primary aluminium with Vedanta, Hindalco and the State company Nalco, India represents a valid partner for Italy, which, as we know, is a net importer of the light metal. India is an enormously interesting country, young and undergoing a strong and fast evolution. In 2017 alone, GNP grew by 15%. Available resources in terms of raw materials are huge and the request for investors and suppliers of modern and evolved technology, such as Italy can provide, are just as large.