Rusal, Russia’s leading aluminium producer, expects growth in domestic demand for beverage cans using the
metal to exceed that of global trends, and for it to continue for the next decade. In an exclusive interview,
Rusal’s official spokesperson Natalia Kirilinskaya told The Canmaker that demand for aluminium drinks cans had been
growing at a rate of 15 per cent recently and that the company expected similar rates for the next seven to ten years.
“In addition to the obvious consumer advantages, one of the main drivers of a further growth in demand
for aluminium cans in Russia is the current global trend towards greening consumption. The aluminium can, which can be
recycled many times, perfectly fits into this trend,” said Kirilinskaya. While demand is growing for beverage cans in traditional
drink sectors -beer, carbonated drinks, mineral and drinking water, energy new niches have been emerging in Russia.
“Over the past year, we have seen juices, juice drinks and even sparkling wines, packed
in cans,” added Kirilinskaya. Rusal is supporting the development of what it sees as environmentally-friendly
types of containers and packaging in Russia and has been increasing its output of aluminium for beverage
packaging, which is converted to coil for canmaking by Arconic SMZ, a spin-off from Alcoa in 2016, which supplies canmakers
such as Ball and Canpack in Russia and in Ukraine, Poland and Finland.
“This year (2021) we have increased production of aluminium for can sheet by
10,000 tons, and are planning to double this figure in 2022,” said Kirilinskaya.
To meet the growing demand, Rusal says it is considering an increase in production of semi-finished
products. This depends, says Rusal, on the impact of Arconic SMZ’s decision to modernise its operations and
increase existing capacity to make coil for canmaking. According to Rusal, canmakers in Russia produced
more than 7 billion cans in 2021, with domestic consumption of 6bn.
“This year (2021) we observed an increase in the consumption of aluminium cans,
which led to an increase in supplies to the domestic market and a decrease
in export volumes,” said Kirilinskaya. “Responding to the growing market demand.
in summer of 2021, two new beverage production lines with a total capacity of more
than 1.5bn units were put into operation. Additionally, Ball announced the construction of a new plant in
Ulyanovsk with the commissioning of a canmaking line in 2023. In the long term,
until 2025, it is expected that the production capacity of Russian plants will increase
by 51 per cent. Also canmaking production may soon start at the plant in Kazakhstan,
with plans for new plants in Uzbekistan and Belarus.” other new plants being con
Rusal added that with structed worldwide by the en of 2022, adding capacity for
around 25bn cans, demand for aluminium canstock could grow by “at least 350,000-400,000 tons”.