28 Nov 2017 15:26

VSMPO-Avisma to wrap up 10-yr development program in 2018, new effort needed to maintain leadership - director

YEKATERINBURG. Nov 28 (Interfax) - VSMPO-Avisma Corporation will wrap up its 10-year development program costing $1.5 billion in 2018, and needs to make a new effort to maintain the world leadership it has carved for itself, the titanium producer's former chief executive Vladislav Tetyukhin, who now serves a non-executive director and as advisor to the current CEO, told reporters.

Tetyukhin said the corporation had been on the verge of collapse during the perestroika years: its titanium orders had shrunk nearly 97% and aluminum orders 80-83%. However the corporation had succeeded in becoming the world's leading titanium producer starting in 2000.

"We overtook all the U.S. and Chinese corporations. We had 28% of world production in 2005-2006 - more than gas, oil and anything else. We were exporting 70%," he said.

The corporation started to work on the development program in 2005, but this will come to an end next year. "All processes have been modernized, all the main equipment has been upgraded. The joint venture with Boeing is working at full capacity. Now we're finishing building a mini-mill, so development is under way in this sense," Teyukhin said.

But VSMPO-Avisma needs to increase output in order to maintain its leadership. Tetyukhin said aircraft manufacturing would rise 12% in 2017-2020 and that other companies would be raising titanium production 15%.

"We need to make a second push in order to keep our foothold. We now have good relations with Boeing and Airbus, but even so our fundamental aviation part ended next year," Tetyukhin said, adding that there was every sign the corporation would be able to ramp up output and be "just as aggressive" as it had been in the early 2000s when it signed its first contract with Boeing.