Bulgaria's aluminum product maker Alcomet will manufacture components for German automotive giant BMW. That emerged during the official opening of a new facility for mechanical processing of aluminum products at the Shumen-based plant, following an investment of 13.5 million levs (6.9 million euro). The two companies have signed a 12-year contract for supply of components for electric cars. Currently the company is engaged in prototype and pre-serial production, with serial production to start next year. Alcomet unveiled its plans to make components for a large automotive company last year but it did not name its partner.
The start of component production for the automotive industry follows a series of investments in the plant. A few years ago, the company invested some 40 million euro in new equipment, including a 2,500-tonne press that increased the capacity for special profile production. The facility for additional mechanical processing of profiles, which was put into operation earlier this year, is also part of these efforts. It is able to perform a wide range of operations, which allows the company to deliver finished components to customers.
The facility itself spreads on 4,100 sq.m and employs 30 people but the company expects to hire more employees there in the future. Last year, Alcomet received a compliance certificate under the IATF 16949:2016 standard, which allows it to manufacture products for all big automotive companies.
BMW is just the first of the customers the company is targeting, it emerged at the opening ceremony. "We have the ambition to work with other automotive producers too," Alcomet supervisory board chairman Fikret Ince said. According to press product sales director Valeria Koleva, automotive component sales are expected to reach 25% of the press output in the next few years and probably 25% of the plant's entire output.
Besides an extrusion plant, Alcomet also has a rolling mill at its site and produces household, technical and container foils, finstock, sheets and strips, as well as standard and customized profiles. The company exports over 90% of its output. Its turnover amounted to 348 million levs in 2020.
The company's interest in the automotive industry is understandable, as it is one of the fastest growing markets for aluminum components. Its products can also be used in construction and architecture, mechanical engineering, renewable energy production and other sectors.