Acquiring VAW makes Hydro a major player

Hydro Aluminum North America has increased its size through the acquisition of VAW of America Inc. The deal is a result of the purchase of VAW Aluminum AG, a German aluminum company, by Norsk Hydro ASA, a Norwegian energy and industrial company. VAW assets have been integrated into Norsk Hydro subsidiary Hydro Aluminum, parent company of Hydro Aluminum North America.

The arrangement reportedly makes Hydro Aluminum North America the third-largest extrusion company in the United States. Hydro Aluminum North America was created earlier in 2002 by the merger of Hydro Aluminum Wells with Hydro Aluminum Metal Products.

With the addition of VAW of America's operations, Hydro Aluminum North America now employs more than 3,300 workers in 15 locations. It operates 24 extrusion presses in the circle size range of 7" to 12". The company reports a total extrusion capacity of more than 300 million pounds.

While fabrication services are available at all plants, four of Hydro Aluminum North America's plants are dedicated to contract manufacturing. These are in Fayetteville TN; Guaymas, Mexico; Kalamazoo MI; and Sidney OH. These plants, along with extrusion and fabrication operations in Phoenix AZ and St Augustine FL, are QS-9000-certified.

The company operates five remelt facilities for a total capacity of 350,000 tons of aluminum. An additional remelt facility is under construction in Commerce TX and is expected to come on line before the end of 2002. Hydro Aluminum North America also operates a metal trading, sourcing and recycling operation in Louisville KY.

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