Strategic Memorandum of Understanding on Aluminium between Italy and Russia

An important memorandum of understanding was signed in Rome at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of International cooperation for a close cooperation between the Russian Aluminium Association and the Italian associations, Assomet-Centroal and Amafond

by Mario Conserva

Great attention was paid to the aluminium industry during the Italian-Russian Entrepreneurial Forum which was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 17th on the occasion of the Italian-Russian Council for Economic, Industrial and Financial Cooperation (CIRCEIF). The event, opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi and by the Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Russian Federation, Denis Valentinovich Manturov, was focused particularly on the segments of digital economy and intelligent production, smart cities and mechanics, with a specific session dedicated to the green customs corridor.
In this context the bases have been laid down for a close cooperation relationship between the two important industrial systems of aluminium in Russia and in Italy, which took form in the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Aluminium Association (RAA Russian Union of Producers, Suppliers and Consumers of Aluminium), represented by its Co-Chairman Irina Kazovskaya, and the two main Italian category associations linked to the industry of the light metal, the Centroal aluminium group within Assomet (Italian Association of Non-Ferrous Metal Industries) and Amafond (Italian Association of Suppliers of Machines, Products and Services for Foundries), represented respectively by Mauro Cibaldi, President, Centroal, and Claudio De Cani, Director, Assomet, and by Maurizio Sala and Fabrizio Carmagnini, respectively President and Director of Amafond.

Italian technologies for the development of the Russian downstream
As detailed in the bilateral agreement, the parties declared their interest in a close cooperation for the development of the production and consumption of aluminium in Russia and in Italy, in the start of an international dialogue regarding the problems of the aluminium industry, in the development of an exchange of technologies and in the promotion of aluminium and aluminium products. By means of the start of new partnerships regarding technologies, processes, research and development in the field of aluminium alloys, the construction of the bases for a reciprocally fruitful and advantageous future has been enabled, for the creation of common projects. This important agreement is based on the intensely complementary traits of the two industrial aluminium systems in the two countries: Italy is one of the world leaders in plant technologies for the primary and secondary production of aluminium and its alloys, especially in the extrusion, rolling, foundry and die casting foundry, machining of aluminium parts, components and finished products for the automotive, transportation, building, packaging and mechanical industries. As we know, the Italian aluminium system which refers to Assomet’s Centroal includes over 500 primary production and machining companies with roughly 16,000 direct employees and estimated revenues in 2016 adding up to 11.2 billion euro. Italy is second in Europe after Germany for the overall use of metal, which in 2017 reached 2.2 million tons, and first in Europe for the production of extrusions and foundry castings. Regarding the sector represented by Amafond which concerns machines, plants and products for casting foundries, the association includes 103 members with overall revenues in 2017 adding up to 1,526 million euro and exports adding up to 1,048 million euro, with a ratio with respect to revenues of about 70%.

Russian primary aluminium for Europe’s aluminium system
As Anton Bazulev, Director of International and Special Projects at Rusal, and Artem Asatur, Director of International Affairs at RAA, pointed out, on the occasion of Amafond’s Assembly held on November 29th in Brescia, Russia is developing its downstream production chain and is looking at the Italian technologies and experience in this industry with keen interest. In this respect it should be noted that Russia, thanks to Rusal, is a leading producer of primary aluminium, with an average output of roughly 4 million tons per year. This is a raw material of which Italy and the whole of Europe are very much in need of, with a deficit of this metal which for EU countries ads up to almost 80% of overall consumption, and especially for Italy is close to 100%; Russia is not only one of the most solid and convenient supply sources for the Italian aluminium industry, but it is also the one with the lowest production costs and the lowest level of emissions. Italy, the second aluminium industrial system in Europe after Germany, absolutely needs high quality primary aluminium such as the Russian metal; there are therefore all the conditions for a strategic partnership between Italy and Russia which by means of the new memorandum of understanding might further develop with respect to the interesting interactions in the metallurgical domain already ongoing between the two countries.