June 22, 2006 -- Allegheny Technologies Inc. is widening an expansion program at its Albany, OR, titanium sponge and titanium melting plant. It is the third phase of the program that began about a year ago, aimed at increasing the organization’s capacity to supply aerospace and defense markets.
The new efforts are budgeted at $25 million. ATI has projected its total 2006 capital investments will total $250 million to $275 million.
At Albany, ATI will add 4 million lb/year of titanium-sponge capacity by the third quarter of 2007, raising total capability there to 16 million lb/year. The titanium-sponge operation there was restarted last year, and this project represents a second expansion since the restart was announced.
Titanium sponge is made from titanium ore refining process that precedes the alloying stage of production.
In addition, a new vacuum-arc remelt (VAR) furnace will be installed at Albany by the end of 2007. VAR melting involves combining titanium sponge with scrap and master alloy to produce a final alloy that is cast into ingots.
In two earlier phases of its titanium expansion, ATI is updated and restarted the Albany titanium sponge facility, built a third plasma-arc melting (PAM) cold-hearth furnace in Bakers, NC; expanded titanium plate production capacity by 25%; and modernized its cold-rolling operations for titanium sheet and strip products.