Both Ullrich and Stabicraft, two large aluminum-using companies, stated that Rio Tinto closure the aluminum smelter which located in Tiwai Point, New Zealand will not have a profound impact on the local manufacturers.
The Ullrich produces aluminum products involving ship, industrial, commercial and household purposes. It has about 300 employees in New Zealand and about the same number of workers in Australia.
Gilbert Ullrich, the CEO of Ullrich said, “Some customers have asked about our aluminum supply. In fact, we are not in short supply.”
He added, “The company has already purchased some aluminum from smelters in other countries. If the Tiwai smelter closes as scheduled next year, the company may increase the output of aluminum imported from Qatar. Although the quality of the Tiwai smelter is good, As far as the Ullrich is concerned, as long as the aluminum smelted from raw ore meets our needs.”
Stabicraft is a ship manufacturer. The company’s CEO Paul Adams said, “We have imported most of the aluminum from overseas.”
Stabicraft has about 130 employees, and the aluminum ships it produces are mainly used in New Zealand and for export.
Stabicraft mainly purchases aluminum plates, which require rolling, but New Zealand does not have a rolling mill. Tiwai smelter produces aluminum ingots instead of finished aluminum sheets required by the factory.
Stabicraft has imported plates from aluminum plants in France, Bahrain, the United States and China.
Paul Adams added: “In fact, the closure of the Tiwai smelter mainly affects the smelter suppliers, not the buyers.”