Sapa Opens New Plant in South France

Sapa Opens New Plant in South France
Local and regional authorities Christian Vedel (far left), Nadia Pellefigue (second from left) and Claire Fita (second from right) participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony together with Sapa France leaders Gilles Le Bouquin (center) and Thierry Frayssinet (far right). Source: Sapa Group

Sapa Group inaugurated its new 26,000 ft2 machining works in France late last month. The new plant gives the firm an expanded production capacity, allowing for an expansion of machining capabilities, which, in turn, Sapa intends to use to augment their product line. Gilles Le Bouquin, managing director of Sapa Extrusion France, explains that this will allow the firm to offer more complex products to current and future clients.

“This new workshop will enable us to meet the growing needs of our customers. Our key skills lie in providing aluminium solutions and state-of-the-art machining,” Le Bouquin says.

The firm spent US$2.26 million on the new factory, purchasing new equipment among other improvements. The new shop, located in Le Garric, in the southern commune of Tarn, will employ around twenty-seven new employees as well. Services provided by the new plant include aluminium extrusion, surface treatment (lacquering), machining, logistics, a quality control laboratory, and a technical center. The project has been six years in the making, completed in partnership with the French real estate management company Themelia.

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Sapa AS is the world’s leading producer of aluminium extrusion. The firm and its 23,500 employees provide many different aluminium services, including cutting, bending, CNC processing, hydroforming, fusion welding, friction stir welding, anodizing, and painting, among others. It began as Skandinaviska Aluminiumprofiler AB in 1963, building its first extrusion facility 200 miles southwest of Stockholm in Vetlanda, and turning out its first extrusions in 1967. Norwegian conglomerate Orkla Group purchased Sapa in 2005 and delisted the company from the Stockholmsbörsen (Swedish Stock Exchange). American aluminium giant Alcoa partnered with Sapa to form Sapa Alcoa in 2007, and in 2008 Sapa gained Alcoa’s soft aluminium alloy extrusion business from Orkla after Orkla executed an asset swap with Alcoa. Norsk Hydro mixed in its extrusion business in 2012, at which point it acquired its 50% share.