Aerospace metals specialist IMET Alloys has announced a 10 million-euro investment to set up Europe’s first aerospace grade titanium processing facility. The Livingston-based business announced that it is to build and equip the plant at Saint Georges-De Mons, near Clermont-Ferrand in central France. IMET uses what it says are the most technologically advanced techniques in the world to provide the melters of titanium and superalloys with furnace-ready products to melt ingots which are used in the aerospace, oil and gas, power generation and medical sectors. The new plant will convert titanium generated by aircraft manufacturers and their subcontractors into clean, furnace-ready material. IMET channels this directly back into the world’s titanium melting facilities displacing primary ore and helping create a circular economy within Europe’s aerospace manufacturing supply chain. Chief executive officer Ruaraidh Williamson said: “We’re delighted to be establishing our first dedicated titanium plant and European headquarters in France.“The facility will be designed and purpose-built by us to handle titanium alloys of today and tomorrow.
“We will be employing exclusive technologies developed by IMET to cement our position as the processor and supplier of next generation alloys utilised in the latest energy-efficient engines.
“Our commitment to this project is a vital step for keeping titanium materials in Europe while reducing the carbon footprint of titanium melting activities through the displacement of ore based primary raw materials.”
He said that IMET”S value proposition is “vital to the creation of a European aerospace circular economy, completing the circular flow and efficient use of titanium materials.”
He said that this would deliver environmental, climate and socio-economic benefits from reduced transport needs to lower raw material imports and a more self-sufficient European titanium supply chain.
IMET Alloys is one of the world’s largest specialist companies processing and managing titanium and superalloys with two UK facilities in Livingston, two plants in the United States and one in the Czech Republic.
Clients include the world’s leading commercial aircraft engine manufacturers such as American conglomerate General Electric, Rolls-Royce and Safran, the French multinational aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component and defence company.
Williamson said: “We do what others can’t. Our people and processing techniques are the most technologically advanced in the world.
“They define the industry standard. They’re why we’re the first-choice company to process the next-generation alloy and they’re how we consistently deliver materials that meet the stringent specifications and rigorous quality standards the industry demands.”
IMET Alloys was founded in 2012 backed by Scottish entrepreneur Hugh Stewart OBE’s investment vehicle, private equity specialists Coralinn LLP.
Hugh Stewart said: “IMET is enjoying significant success delivering innovative solutions to the aerospace sector. We are delighted with its progress.
“In 2000 Ruaraidh was recruited as the first graduate into our highly successful graduate recruitment programme. Through training, continuous learning and mentoring he is now an outstanding CEO.
“For many years the UK and in particular Scottish SMEs continue to fail to invest in succession planning. At Coralinn we are committed to develop the managers and leaders of tomorrow.”
IMET’s announcement today is underpinned by a 10-year service agreement with France-headquartered EcoTitanium signed at the recent Paris Air Show.
Building of the new facility in France will start in July 2020 and the plant will be operational by 2022
IMET Alloys’ other plants are in Livingston, Monroe in North Carolina, Plainsville, Connecticut and Prague, Czech Republic.
The company recently invested $3 million in an expansion at the Monroe facility which will be officially opened later this year.
Today, IMET employs just under 100 people in the US, UK and Czech Republic and, when fully operational, there will be around 50 people at the new St Georges-De Mons facility.
The company said it expected turnover this year of $60 million and is eyeing further expansion.