How will Industry 4.0 technologies transform the global industry and, in particular, Russia’s aluminium sector? What are the prospects of the domestic aluminium market development? These as well as many other themes including international cooperation were at the heart of the Aluminium Sector in the Industry 4.0 Era session held in conjunction with INNOPROM International Industrial Exhibition. The discussion was moderated by Pyotr Zolotarev, Deputy Chairman of Vnesheconombank.
According to expert speakers, in the context of transition to a new industrial phase, aluminium outperforms other metals in terms of application and processing potential. “Promoting highly sophisticated projects in the aluminium sector requires the concerted efforts of the government, federal and regional agencies, development institutions and the private sector. Vnesheconombank is actively searching for cutting-edge projects. At the moment, we are putting together a package of sectoral strategies for technology-intensive industries as provided by the Bank’s 2021 Strategy. VEB is prepared to offer “smart” financing instruments, in particular, those to promote exports of high-technology aluminium products. The key is to monitor market trends and work out a robust business model,” Pyotr Zolotarev pointed out.
Currently, the Russian government is implementing a program to boost demand for high-technology aluminium products. The Russian Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Sergey Tsyb believes that today the multilateral coordination between the primary aluminium-producing countries has become an imperative. He also calls for a global dialogue on the restructuring and reorganisation of the aluminium sector. To this end, the Deputy Minister suggested establishing an international association that would become an efficient mechanism and platform to enable the dialogue. Today, Russia, Gulf countries, China and India have been developing a consolidated approach.
Speaking of sectoral development trends, RUSAL’s CEO Vladislav Soloviev noted that aluminium consumption growth is now between 6 and 7% per year. Among the priority aluminium consumers, he named car manufacturing, construction, primarily, bridge building, aircraft engineering, and power industry.
According to VEB’s Strategy, the Bank is to invest in breakthrough technologies in sectors where Russia has a strong competitive edge, such as Industry 4.0.
The panel session was also attended by officials from the respective federal agencies, Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Russian Export Center (VEB Group), the Federation of Aluminium Consumers in Europe, representatives from aluminium development centers in Japan and Bahrain, and Russian companies.