Allegheny Technologies Inc. said Friday it has approved a $38 million expansion of its titanium sponge production capabilities at its Albany, Oregon, facility.
Allegheny said the purpose of the capital project is to meet growing demand from the aerospace and defense, chemical process, and oil and gas markets, adding 4 million pounds of titanium sponge capacity to the facility, which brings the annual production capacity there to 20 million pounds.
ATI expects the project to be completed by the second quarter of 2008.
ATI also updated the progress of its previously announced greenfield premium titanium sponge facility planned for Rowley, Utah. This new facility is now being designed to facilitate expansion beyond the 24 million pounds of annual titanium sponge capacity originally planned. As a result of this and other design improvements, the investment in this facility is now estimated to be between $425 and $450 million.
The Utah facility is expected to begin operation in late 2008 and reach the 24 million pound annual production rate by the second half 2009.
“The opportunities to grow our titanium mill product shipments are significant, and continue to increase. As a result, we decided to move forward with the further expansion of our Albany titanium sponge facility and position the Rowley facility for future expansion,” said Patrick Hassey, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “During the last few months, we announced the two largest long-term agreements (LTAs) in the history of ATI. Both LTAs are with premiere aerospace companies who require growing and significant amounts of titanium mill products.
The company said demand is expected to remain strong for titanium products used in the manufacture of fertilizers, and for titanium products needed for heat exchangers used in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other oil and gas applications.