75th Anniversary of Zaporozhye Titanium & Magnesium Combine


Zaporozhye Titanium & Magnesium Combine celebrates its 75th Anniversary and sums up the year.

ZAPOROZHYE, 23rd of December 2010 – Regulated Enterprise Zaporozhye Titanium & Magnesium Combine celebrates its 75th Anniversary. Local Government Officials and Trade-Union representatives offered their congratulation on the Anniversary. The Combine brought back to memory its glorious history, summed up the departing year, made plans for the future.

The main festive event took place in Zaporozhye Regional Theatre named after Magara. Employees of the Combine and veterans were awarded with Certificates of Merit and Honourable Distinctions. Heads of Regional and City Counsels, as well as Trade-Union representatives took part in the award ceremony. About 140 workers received the awards.

Glorious history of the Combine began with commissioning of Dneprovsky Magnesium Plant on December 23, 1935. In 1954 it was decided to construct titanium sponge producing facility; and in June 1956 the Plant produced first in Soviet Union commercial titanium. Titanium sector had strategic importance for development of Soviet Union industry. Approximately 55% of titanium went for aircraft building, 15% - for rocket building, 25% - for shipbuilding, and 5% - for other basic sectors of industry.

After commissioning of new titanium producing enterprises in other republics of USSR, the share of ZTMC in titanium sponge production became 25%. At the end of 1980s Soviet Union produced about 90 thousand tonnes of titanium sponge, which is approximately one and a half times as many as it was produced by the US, Europe, and Japan put together.

Apart from production, the Enterprise has always been and still is an important centre of production science. More than 70 employees of the Combine defended their dissertation and became Candidates of Science, three employees defended doctoral dissertations. There are nine Honoured Innovators of Ukraine, seven Laureates of State Prize of USSR, nine Laureates of Council of Ministers Prize of USSR, and seven Laureates of State Prize of Ukraine among former and actual ZTMC workers.

For ZTMC, as well as for many other Ukrainian enterprises, the fall of the USSR became a grave page of its history. Rupture of industrial cooperative system resulted in sharp decrease of demand for Combine’s products, and on December 23, 1993, it was decided to suspend titanium and magnesium production. It was not until 1998 that, within the framework of the State Programme Titanium of Ukraine, the production was recommenced.

But due to high depreciation of fixed assets of the Enterprise, manufacturing capacity of ZTMC shrank sharply to the current 10 thousand tonnes of titanium sponge out of 20 thousand. So far, the enterprise needs a considerable amount of investment for modernization of the production and increase of manufacturing capacity.

However, accession of the new top management in 2010 led to improvement of production performance and financial indicators of ZTMC. Thus, 7.034 thousand tonnes were produced over 11 months of 2010, which is 12.5% up on the similar period of 2009. And the volume of titanium sponge sales over 11 months of 2010 was 358.373 million UAH, which is 40.2% up on the result of 11 months in 2009.

Vladimir Sivak, General Manager of RE ZTMC, related the plans of the Enterprise for the future. According to him, a Programme of ZTMC Modernization is being developed together with the State Research and Development Institute of Titanium. “This Programme is aimed at quality improvement of Combine’s products and manufacturing capacity build-up. In particular, it is planned to increase titanium sponge production up to 24-30 thousand tonnes per year and titanium slag production up to 200 thousand tonnes per year within 3-4 years,” Vladimir Sivak mentioned. “However, in order to implement these plans, a substantial amount of inverstments is needed. State has to find a reliable private partner that will make it possible for us to face the future with optimism and help to implement what we’ve planned.”

Analysts predict growth of demand for titanium sponge in the world by 83% by 2015 up to 220 thousand tonnes per year as against 120 thousand tones in 2009. It will occur, mainly, due to increase of titanium sponge consumption by aircraft builders, defense industry enterprises, and consumer goods producers.

Note

RE Zaporozhye Titanium & Magnesium Combine is the only enterprise in Ukraine and Europe that produces titanium sponge. The combine has strategic importance for economics and security of the State. Its main products are titanium sponge – a semi-product for titanium and titanium alloy goods, it is also used in metallurgy for steel alloying; and titanium slag which is a raw material for titanium sponge production. The Enterprise provides job for 35000 people.

In accordance with the Order of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, RE ZTMC is to be incorporated into the State Holding Company Titanium of Ukraine after turning the Enterprise into a Joint-Stock Company. SHC Titanium of Ukraine is created for the purpose of unification of mining, processing, and producing state titanium assets into a vertically-integrated system. State plans, thereby, to create a closed cycle of titanium metal and titanium dioxide production.