Located in Saint-Georges-de-Mons, Auvergne, in France, EcoTitanium is a European recycling and refining plant for titanium alloys focused on aviation. This is the first titanium-producing plant in Europe to make titanium ingots with scrap from major manufacturers of aircraft and their subcontractors.
“EcoTitanium is a €48 million ($56 million) investment that will lead to the creation of more than 60 direct jobs as well as a significant number of indirect jobs. The plant started up industrially in the first half of 2017 with the launch of accreditation phases. Production will begin in 2018,” the project’s website states.
The inaugural ceremony was held by the plant’s shareholders, UKAD, a joint venture by Aubert & Duval (a subsidiary of Eramet) and the Kazakh group UKTMP International; the French environment and energy management agency ADEME; and the regional bank Crédit Agricole Center. They were joined by Benjamin Griveaux, secretary of state for economics and finance; and Christel Bories, president and CEO of Eramet, a French multinational mining and metallurgy company; Pawel Wyrzykowski, president of Seco/Warwick Group; Artur Wiechczynski, melting furnace department director; Earl Good, managing director of Retech Systems USA; and Nathaniel Slinker, product director of vacuum arc remelt (VAR).
As highlighted by EcoTitanium, the inauguration is the final step in creating the first integrated titanium source in Europe that opens the door of the aerospace industry to new options that are independent of existing American and Russian suppliers.
“With our complete and tailor-made solutions, our partners, including EcoTitanium, are gaining competitive advantage in the industry,” says Wyrzykowski, president of Seco/Warwick Group. “It’s all thanks to our modern technologies and equipment in the field of vacuum metallurgy. This knowledge and experience enables us to meet the strictest requirements, passion and drive for innovation on the other hand—allow finding individual and optimal solutions.”
Earl Good, managing director of Retech, says, “Active and long-standing cooperation with representatives of various market sectors has allowed us to learn and understand their specific needs and requirements. As a result, we know how to best meet their expectations. At the same time, as the most integrated furnace manufacturer in the world, we give our customers access to a wide range of custom solutions including technology, material and process.”
Good continues, “The device that our EcoTitanium partner has been equipped with consists of three metallurgical units: a plasma arc melting (PAM) furnace for melting plasma or plasma gas inert gas, and two VAR arc furnaces for titanium melting. At the moment, the first arc furnace is installed. Construction and delivery of the second is planned in the next stage.”
For 50 years Retech has designed and implemented vacuum metallurgy, conducted research and development (R&D) projects, and constructed, built and tested equipment for customers in the global markets.
The Seco/Warwick Group provides equipment and technologies to the world’s leading aerospace, automotive and power companies, enabling the production of lightweight and durable components. The company says benefits of using vacuum metallurgy include, high efficiency, process reproducibility, process automation, modern control system with monitoring of each parameter and precise feed system.