Alcoa CEO Likes What He Sees at RTI Plant in Niles

NILES, Ohio – The chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc., Klaus Kleinfeld, told the employees of the RTI plant here, “Get ready for more business.”

Kleinfeld’s comments followed a tour he and two members of the Alcoa C-suite conducted here late last month, says an article on the company’s intranet site. A notice of his visit was also filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Alcoa CEO pronounced himself “impressed with the equipment which includes a lot of modern automation.”

Alcoa, which announced March 9 that it will buy RTI in a $1.5 billion stock transaction (READ STORY), sees the plant becoming “a much busier place,” the article says.

Niles, where RTI was established in 1951, remains the center of its main titanium operations. Joining Kleinfeld for the tour were Eric Roegner, Alcoa chief operating officer, Gerhard Kschwendt, vice president for business excellence, Olivier Jarrault, executive vice president and group president for engineered products and solutions, and Jarrault’s press aide, Christa Bowers. RTI’s executive vice president of operations, Jim McCarley, led the tour.

Kleinfeld sees “many synergies” that will result from the merger. “The combined entity will create a complete mid- and downstream titanium value chain from which Alcoa will be getting more of its titanium supplies from RTI,” the article says.

Alcoa uses titanium produced at the Niles plant to produce forged parts, including the bulkheads and spars in the Air Force F35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The employees at the Niles plant will have opportunities “to share their expertise, such as on rolling mill operations” within the larger Alcoa, Kleinfeld said at a plantwide meeting, and “gain potential career opportunities and access to centers of excellence that Alcoa offers.”

RTI moved its headquarters from Niles to Pittsburgh a few years ago. Alcoa maintains its corporate offices in New York.

Pictured: RTI’s titanium plant in Niles.

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