Top Brazil Aluminum Maker to Expand in Bet on Global Shortfall
(Bloomberg) -- The aluminum unit of Brazilian conglomerate Votorantim SA is betting on a shortfall of the metal used in everything from beer cans to plane parts.
Cia. Brasileira de Aluminio plans to invest 4 billion reais ($748 million) in the next five years as it overhauls and expands operations, Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Carvalho said in an interview. The company that made its Brazilian trading debut in July after a 1.4 billion-real offering also wants to do deals along the value chain.
The growth plans align with CBA’s view that aluminum is heading into a supply deficit as global de-carbonization efforts boost demand at a time when China is restricting smelting. The metal used to reduce vehicle weight has held up better than most commodities amid growing delta variant concerns, and is up 44% in the past year.
CBA plans to upgrade plants to reduce emissions and bring back some capacity idled during Brazil’s 2014 energy crisis. The project pipeline also includes renewable energy, dry-waste disposal and additional billet output from scrap.
At the same time, the company is seeking a partner to develop a 2 billion-real bauxite project called Rondon in the northern state of Para. The strategy is to export 4.5 million tons to position CBA as an alternative for clients in China and the Middle East currently supplied by Guinea.
“We’re having conversations with potential partners in Brazil and abroad,” Carvalho said. “It could be someone who does a long-term supply contract or an investor with its own take.”
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