Uniti sets out its game plan

Uniti, a Russian-American joint venture, plans to produce 30–40% of the world’s pure titanium products for applications outside the aerospace industry, Vladislav Tetyukhin, the venture’s co-chairman, has said. Global titanium production amounts to 60,000-70,000 tons at present, including 20,000 tons of pure titanium, he said. He added that the company will produce 1000 tons of products from pure titanium this year, and will be producing 5000 to 10,000 tons annually in 2–3 years. Uniti expects sales of USD 7–8 million this year. Uniti was set up in April by Russia’s Verkhnaya Salda Metallurgical Production Association (VSMPO), one of the world’s leading milled titanium producers, and Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) of Pittsburgh. The two companies each own 50% of the venture, which will make and market titanium products for applications other than in the aerospace industry. VSMPO vice president Vyacheslav Bresht said the two companies each contributed USD 750,000 to Uniti’s charter capital. The company has no plans for investment in production yet. Uniti will use various production capacities of the two companies, said Tetyukhin, who is also general director of VSMPO. The goals of setting up the venture are to find new markets, make titanium more accessible and reduce production costs, he said. Titanium is an expensive metal, and it is difficult for it to compete in non-aerospace sectors with other metals such as steel and aluminium alloys, he added.

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