Gränges to Reopen NW Arkansas Rolling Mill in Q1 2019 After US$26 MM in Upgrades

Gränges to Reopen NW Arkansas Rolling Mill in Q1 2019 After US$26 MM in Upgrades

Swedish rolled aluminium firm Gränges AB yesterday disclosed that it will soon restart production at its aluminium rolling mill in Newport, Arkansas.

The company will invest around US$26 million in the plant prior to its reopening, primarily to upgrade equipment already on site. Per the company, upgrades should be complete and production will commence by the end of next March. Gränges expects the facility, which will begin with an annual production rate of 20 thousand metric tons, will continue to gradually ramp up output as the years go by.

Gränges CEO Johan Menckel greeted the development as a win for the firm’s bottom line.

“This is a good opportunity for us to upgrade and use the assets we already own, and address an attractive market niche which has been mainly served through imports. We expect the investment to make a positive contribution to earnings in 2019 and beyond.”

The facility, which was built and operated by Noranda, has been idle since 2015 but for marginal production of surface treatments. It became a Gränges asset the following year when the firm purchased Noranda’s rolled aluminium business.

Gränges Americas President Patrick Lawlor hailed the news as a win for both his company and the local economy.

“This investment builds on our foil strategy as we invest to once again serve our light gauge foil customers and their growth plans. It is great news not only for our future customers, but also for the local community in the Newport area.”

Begun in 1873 in Stockholm, Sweden as Trafik AB Grängesberg-Oxelösund, Gränges AB was resurrected in 2013 as a private company specializing in rolled aluminium heat exchangers. It employs almost 1,000 employees at the present time at two plants – one in Finspång, Sweden, that opened in its present configuration in 1972, and a second in Shanghai, China, opened in 1996. The firm boasts an annual sales total of SEK10 billion (US$1.09 billion).