“Alcoa Posts a Jump in Net Profit” – Wall Street Journal, 8 April 2013

Alcoa‘s 2013 first quarter profits improved by 59% from last year. The company’s 2013 net income was $149 million, compared to 94 million in 2012.

Alcoa’s decision to reduce production in their China plants allowed the price of their aluminum to rise. The profit increase was also spurred by a tax benefit, gained values in energy contracts and a fire-insurance recovery.

Alcoa, a company that was very much geared towards smelting and producing aluminum sheets, has now shifted its focus to other areas of metal production, such as the automotive and aerospace industries. Alcoa has experienced higher profits from these industries, which consistently need engineered parts, like bolts and other fasteners. The company has also managed to obtain new power-supply contracts and new technology investments that have also aided their profit increase. Alcoa now depends less on mining and smelting, and has been shutting down many of their costly smelters.

With their China plants closed, Alcoa removed some of the excess aluminum that was severely decreasing their metal prices. Now, Alcoa is resolute in their prediction for global aluminum demand — a 7% growth, based on both China’s flourishing population and the US’s improving economy.

We would not be surprised if Alcoa follows Alcan (now Rio Tinto Alcan and Novelis) in separating its primary-fabricated products by forgoing its less profitable, higher cost primary production facilities, and focusing on value-added engineered aerospace and automotive products.

Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

April 24, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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Novelis Breaks Ground on Aluminum Recycling Plant in Germany

The Atlanta-based aluminum rolling and recycling company Novelis is currently building a $250 million aluminum recycling and casting center at its recycling plant in Nachterstedt, Germany, which is expected to open in 2014. The recycling center will be adjacent to their Germany aluminum rolling mill.

Novelis is a leading producer and the global leader in beverage can recycling. Novelis’ customers span a wide range of domains besides beverage cans: automotive, consumer electronics, construction, foil and packaging. The company recycles almost 40 billion cans per year, and hopes to achieve its goal of 80% recycled content by 2020. The company has operations in 11 different countries.

As the demand for aluminum grows in developing countries, Novelis is seeking to expand. Novelis’ new recycling plant will be the largest aluminum recycling center in the world. Once it’s up and running, the new recycling center will aid the company in producing 400,000 tons of aluminum sheet from recycled material per year. The center will collect and process UBCs and other aluminum scrap in Europe.The company also recently opened a new recycling and casting center in Yeongju, Korea. Novelis is expanding its reach globally, both in terms of recycling and casting projects.

These timely actions are consistent with Novelis’s stated and pursued goals of achieving 80% recycled content in their products with an increase of 6% (from 33% to 39%).

Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

January 3, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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Phinix LLC Publishes Sustainability Gone Postal!, a book based on our 15-part blog series inspired by the USPS “Go Green” Stamp Collection

Phinix LLC is very happy to announce the publication of our new book, Sustainability Gone Postal!, a short book based on our 15-Part blog series inspired by the United States Postal Service’s “Go Green” Stamp Collection.

This 15-Part volume describes practical, real-life tips for achieving a greener lifestyle. Each colorful chapter offers valuable insights from leading experts in ecology, environmentalism, and energy efficiency. Sustainability Gone Postal! addresses the following topics:

  • Local Produce Reuse Bags
  • Walking as Transportation
  • Recycling More Often
  • Using Public Transportation
  • Fixing Water Leaks
  • Bicycling as Transportation
  • Using Efficient Light Bulbs
  • Carpooling and Ride Sharing
  • Working with Compost
  • Planting Trees and Vegetation
  • Controlling Your Thermostat Efficiently
  • Saving Electricity
  • Using “Natural” Power
  • Insulating Your Home
  • Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure

Following the launch of our book, we plan to develop a presentation and lecture materials to broad audiences interested in topics concerning ecology, sustainability, and green living.

To learn more about our book, and order your copy, please visit: http://www.lulu.com/shop/subodh-das-and-austin-mckinney/sustainability-gone-postal-a-blog-series-inspired-by-the-usps-go-green-stamp-collection/paperback/product-20591643.html?showPreview=true

Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Austin McKinney.

January 7th, 2013

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2013. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net skdas@phinix.net

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Brazil Remains Aluminum Can Recycling Champ

Brazil’s 2011 aluminum can recycling rate was an unprecedented and ‘historic’ 98.3%, again allowing them to retain the title of Aluminum Can Recycling Champion. Since 2001, Brazil has been ranked as the number one country with the highest aluminum can recycling rate, cementing the country as the global leader and forerunner in this domain.

According to trade associations the Brazilian Aluminium Association and the Brazilian Association of Aluminium Cans of High Recyclability, Brazil has recycled 248,700 tons of Used Beverage Cans (UBC) out of the accounted 253,100 tons on the market. Brazil’s recycling industry countered their nation’s anticipated consumption rate — which is expected to raise by 7% in 2012 — by increasing its UBC recycling rate by 9.5% this year, recycling 23 billion units from 21 billion the previous year. Data provided by both trade associations confirms that last year, 18.4 million packages were recycled, which means 50.4 million per day or 2.1 million per hour.

Brazil’s success certainly has economic and environmental advantages. The accumulation of UBC has added R$645 to the domestic economy. Because the recycling process uses far less electric power than the primary metal process, recycling 248.7 tons of UBC has also saved an exorbitant amount of electric power. Additionally, the collection stage alone adds thousands of jobs to Brazil’s economy.

In Brazil in 2009, in around 30 days, an aluminum beverage can could be purchased at a market, used, collected, recycled and returned to the market shelves for additional consumption. Brazil’s success is the result of combined efforts from everyone: aluminum sheet manufacturers, can manufacturers, fillers, cooperatives, recycling companies, consumers and the Brazilian government.

Not only do all the major players proactively take part in Brazil’s recycling chain, but the government funds informative campaigns on recycling, which have helped to educate the consumer. However, the most important factor is that the country has an existing recycling market in all of its regions. This, coupled with easy collection; transportation and marketing; and highly valued and highly available aluminum scrap has altered consumer behavior. And consumer behavior is a very important ingredient to a high recycling rate.

Just imagine how the US’s recycling industry can learn from Brazil’s methods, and ultimately benefit. Not only would our economy greatly improve — we would be able to add jobs — but our carbon footprint would diminish. The US federal government needs to take a proactive approach in dealing with the US’s recycling issues by heeding Brazil’s advice. If consumer behavior is modified, then we will see a huge difference in US recycling practices.

A recent presentation by Dr. Subodh Das – followed by its subsequent publication in the August 2011 issue of Journal of Metals — “Aluminum Recycling in a Carbon Constrained World: Observations and Opportunities” presents a framework for achieving substantial progress in US aluminum recycling rates, and a framework for integrating key elements into the US aluminum recycling landscape: (1) engineering, (2) communication, (3) public policy and (4) actionable sustainability strategies.

Although the US has made great strides in recent years towards increasing its current high recycling rate of 65.1% in 2011 from rates lower that 50% in 2003, much work still remains to be done to catch up with Brazil’s 98.3%.

Conceived, Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan

December 17th, 2012

Phinix LLC

Copyright 2012. All rights Reserved by Phinix, LLC.

www.phinix.net    skdas@phinix.net

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