First plant in Europe to produce aviation-grade titanium by recycling
September 24, 2017
A new plant in Saint-Georges-de-Mons, France, will be the first in Europe to produce aviation-grade titanium by recycling. The EcoTitanium project makes alloys from titanium solid scrap and chips collected from the major aircraft makers and their subcontractors, and is said to provide Europe with a titanium supply source which is independent of the major global producers.
The €48 million project has three shareholders: UKAD (43.5%), a joint venture by Aubert & Duval and UKTMP International, ADEME (41.3%) under the Investissements d’Avenir programme, and Crédit Agricole Centre France (15.2%) through its investment subsidiary CACF Développement. The EcoTitanium site was inaugurated during a recent ceremony attended by Benjamin Griveaux, French Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, and Christel Bories, Chairman & CEO of the ERAMET Group.
“The ERAMET Group is proud to support the EcoTitanium project for the creation of a recycling stream that will provide Europe with a titanium supply source which is independent from the major global producers. EcoTitanium is a milestone in ERAMET’s constant commitment to environmental and social responsibility, as well as industrial innovation,” stated Bories.
At full capacity, EcoTitanium will produce several thousand tons of titanium alloy ingot per year to meet high growth in demand for titanium on aviation markets. Titanium and its alloys provide this industry with valuable properties: lightness (44% lighter than steel), excellent corrosion resistance and advanced mechanical characteristics.
It is said that EcoTitanium’s recycling route will prevent the emission of 100,000 tons of CO2 by consuming four times less power than the conventional, ore-based production supply chain. To support the creation of this environmentally responsible stream in Europe, the European Investment Bank (EIB) granted a €30 million loan for EcoTitanium funding.
The project also benefited from the financial support of the European Regional Development Fund, the French Commissariat for Equality of Territories, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, Puy-de-Dôme département council, the Loire-Bretagne water agency and Banque Publique d’Investissement.
Denis Hugelmann, CEO in charge of the Alloys Division, ERAMET and Chairman of EcoTitanium, stated, “I thank our partners UKTMP, Crédit Agricole Centre France, ADEME, and the European Investment Bank for their involvement in this pioneering project. With EcoTitanium, the ERAMET Group and its subsidiary Aubert & Duval are reasserting their attachment to the Combrailles activity area, which will benefit from the creation of around sixty direct jobs, shoring up its industrial vocation.”