Hydro Extrusion UK wins first Neil Birt HSE Achievement Award

For 15 years, the Aluminium Federation HSE Support Group has been a forum for helping members promote safety in an industry that can be hazardous. During our meetings, we encourage members to feedback on initiatives that they have either implemented or are in the process of implementation.

One initiative that particularly impressed the group was Hydro Extrusion UK’s HSE apprentice scheme, which was introduced in 2017. It created the scheme to develop new HSE professionals within the business, to help ensure there’s a stable flow of HSE personnel and to help foster a culture of continuous improvement.

The scheme is delivered with local colleges and training providers, and apprentices work towards nationally and internationally recognised qualifications. They develop a keen understanding of business management and both theoretical and practical HSE knowledge, developing skills applicable to Hydro Extrusion UK and the wider industry. Other benefits include excellent career progression opportunities within the Hydro family and developing professional networks inside and outside the business. Hydro Extrusion now has 4 HSE apprentices across its 6 UK sites, each mentored by the Site HSE Manager and the Regional HSE Coordinator.

In April 2018, we received the sad news that Neil Birt, our former HSE Group Chair (and long-serving HSE Manager of Bridgnorth Aluminium), had passed away. As a committee, we decided that it would be a fitting memorial to create an Annual HSE Achievement Award in his name.

The idea is not only to celebrate achievement within the industry, but to maintain the values and ideals Neil spent so long promoting. His vision was that by working together we could help each other and to encourage shared learning. We are grateful for everything Neil gave members, and in recognition of Hydro Extrusion UK’s achievements, we’re delighted to announce them as the first recipient of the Neil Birt HSE Achievement Award.

Congratulations to Hydro Extrusion UK

Centre – The award was collected by Kieran Veal ( Hydro HSE Technician, and one of the original Apprentices on the Scheme) and Ian Bould (Hydro HSE Manager)  with
Left – Giles Ashmead, ALFED President, and Right – Helen Williams, Chair of the ALFED HSE Committee


Yesterday night, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) extended the expiration date of certain general licenses related to United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL).

The General Licenses 13D, 14A, and 16A are amended to extend the expiration date from 23 October to 12 November 2018, for transactions related to RUSAL and its subsidiaries. 


Aluminium industry is thriving in the face of political and economic challenges, according to annual ALFED Members’ Briefing

The 2018 Aluminium Federation Members’ Briefing and Annual Dinner showcased developments within the industry – and the important role ALFED plays as the industry’s voice.

On 20th September, representatives from more than 100 ALFED members descended on the historic Tortworth Court in Gloucestershire to share 12 months’ worth of insight and discuss upcoming challenges.

The agenda included presentations from ALFED’s president, 4 sector subgroups, ALFED training and the Health, Safety and Environmental Support Group, as well as the UK Metals Council, Bloodhound SSC and The Outward Bound Trust.

Key takeaways were:

  • There’s a positive outlook for extrusion, with the year-on-year growth experienced since 2015 continuing its upward trend. There’s particular growth in products for the industrial and automotive markets
  • Members in the finishing group are reporting healthy order books, sales and supply volumes. Current issues relate to hexavalent chromate authorisation, the redrafting of BS EN12206, titanium oxide, cobalt and the surface treatment and powder coating of secondary aluminium
  • Innovation initiatives have included the ALFED forging project to establish a framework for migrating from ferrous to aluminium components, with a focus to date on the automotive industry. Over the past year, the innovation group has also looked at Horizon 2020 funding opportunities, joining techniques, developments in second-generation fibre metal laminates, strained hardened heat-treatable alloys, cryogenic stress relieving and additive manufacturing
  • The recycling group updated members on new technologies – like high-efficient burners, spectroscopy and alloy detection systems – as well as developments in closed-loop recycling, packaging recycling and secondary material usage.

Bloodhound SSC discussed the new schools challenge in partnership with ALFED – and brought a full-size model of the car that will be making a world record attempt. We also learned about the new HSE apprenticeship scheme at Hydro Extrusion UK, a landmark 4-year programme that’s helping cement the importance of health and safety in future working practices.

Giles Ashmead, ALFED President, said:

“Over the past year, we welcomed over 20 new members to the Federation: companies who want to take advantage of our services. We also offered further networking opportunities for our existing members.

“Our training offer continues to develop, with the launch of not only our revamped schools challenge in association with Bloodhound, but also our new management training courses, which are already selling out.

“We are accelerating our innovation work by forming knowledge partnerships with a number of educational establishments, and have resurrected our lecture programme. We continue to listen to our members and develop training and technical support initiatives that meet their requirements.

“ALFED are definitely focused on building the aluminium industry of the future. At this time of uncertainty – with not only Brexit as a threat to the industry’s stability but also the actions of the US Government – we have found an unprecedented level of access to our Government. We thank the civil servants of Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, as well as other Government departments for giving us their time, taking up our issues and doing what they can to alleviate the threats we face.”

To learn more about the Members’ Briefing and the specific presentations, contact Margaret Lane at m_lane@alfed.org.uk or 44 (0)121 601 6363.


After intensive advocacy work in the past months and weeks with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the European Commission and the Member States, European Aluminium have announced a potential evolution in the Rusal dossier.

Based on information published by OFAC in a Q&A last Friday, there may be an opening for companies to sign certain types of contracts extending beyond the current expiration of General Licenses 14, 15, and 16 under certain conditions. European Aluminium are currently in the process of seeking clarity on the legal interpretation of OFAC’s messaging and remain in close cooperation with the stakeholders.

The World of Aluminium, West Bromwich, 4 December


Tuesday 4 December 2018, 9.00am – 4.15pm

Park Inn Hotel, West Bromwich B70 6RS      

An intensive, one-day workshop that gives participants an elementary, practical understanding of aluminium production, processing, application, markets and industry.

Equally suited to technical and non-technical people, the workshop is delivered by Jan Lukaszewski. It requires no prior knowledge of aluminium, and is therefore suitable for both new and more experienced employees.

The four sessions of the workshop are:

  • Introduction to Aluminium
  • Working with Aluminium
  • Uses of Aluminium
  • The UK Aluminium Industry

A copy of the full programme can be viewed here

Workshop fees

ALFED Members – £260.00 + vat = £312.00 – This price includes a complimentary copy of ALFED’s ‘Properties of Aluminium and its Alloys’ 

Non-Members – £375.00 + vat = £450.00 – This price includes a complimentary copy of ALFED’s ‘Properties of Aluminium and its Alloys’ 

This includes refreshments, lunch, course notes and ALFED ‘Props Book’.

Please book places at the workshop using this booking form

For further information, please contact Ann Gough on 0121 601 6365.

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