January 25, 2007 — Allegheny Technologies Inc. has budgeted $215 million to expand its operations producing titanium and nickel-based superalloy products in North and South Carolina over the next three years. The stainless/specialty steel producer explained the projects are a response to continued demand materials used in jet-engine and airframe construction by the aerospace and defense industries — a justification ATI has used for a series of expansions in its specialty metals and materials operations over the past year.
Electrical energy, medical, and oil and gas markets also were cited by Alcoa as targets for the output of the latest projects to be announced. Since mid 2005, ATI has been expanding its production capacity for melting, refining, and rolling specialty steels and titanium products, and in mid January it indicated it would invest $60 million to increase its titanium and specialty plate processing capabilities at Washington, PA.
Specifically, the new investments comprise three programs:
- A new forging operation, to be in production by the third quarter of 2009. This will feature a 10,000-ton press, a 700-mm rotary forge, and conditioning, finishing, and inspection equipment.
- More plasma-arc melting capacity for titanium alloys. A fourth PAM furnace will be installed by late 2008.
- More vacuum-arc remelting capacity for nickel-based superalloys and titanium. One new VAR will start up in early 2008, and four more will be added as demand indicates.
No specific designs or equipment suppliers were announced for the projects. It's understood that they will be installed at the ATI Allvac operations in Monroe, NC, and Richburg, SC. ATI chairman, president, and CEO Patrick Hassey stated: "This combination of equipment is unique in the specialty metals industry. These investments enhance our ability to meet our customers' current and future technical requirements and create a platform for further innovation."