(Refiles to correct stock action in bullet point)
* Alcoa aluminum for almost all Airbus commercial aircraft
* Agreement worth about $1 bln over its life
* Alcoa stock up nearly 1.8 pct at one time
(Adds background on new alloys, stock up, byline)
By Steve James
NEW YORK, June 24 U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa
Inc (AA.N) said on Friday it won a multiyear contract worth
about $1 billion to supply its new, lighter aluminum-based
alloys for Airbus commercial aircraft.
The news sent Alcoa stock up almost 1.8 percent to $15.55
in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on a day when
the broader market fell. Later in the morning, the shares were
up 8 cents to $15.36.
Alcoa said the deal with the European planemaker unit of
EADS EAD.PA calls for Alcoa to provide aluminum sheet and
plate using current and advanced-generation aluminum alloys,
which are lighter and stronger than traditional metals and
Terms of the agreement, reached this week at the Paris Air
Show, were not disclosed, but Alcoa said the agreement has a
value of about $1 billion over its life.
Alcoa's aluminum products will be used on most Airbus
commercial aircraft, from short-range, single-aisle planes to
long-haul jets, including the A380, the company said.
The aluminum, for fuselage panels and structural components
as well as wing skins, will be supplied from plants in
Davenport, Iowa; Kitts Green, England; and Belaya Kalitva,
Earlier this month, Alcoa announced it had developed a new
generation of alloys and technologies it said could lower the
weight of airliners by up to 10 percent and improve fuel
efficiency even more.
"The alloys are mostly new and revolutionary for the
industry," Eric Roegner, president of Alcoa's Forgings and
Extrusions business, told Reuters in an interview at the time.
He said that mixing aluminum with lithium produces a 7
percent improvement in density and results in significantly
lighter products, but with the same strength and stiffness.
"Weight savings depend on where you put them on the plane,
but can give you a 12 percent improvement in fuel efficiency."
Alcoa's Forgings and Extrusions business serves the
structures market, including the company's aerospace sector,
which has about $3 billion in annual revenues.
High oil prices have prompted aircraft makers to look for
lighter metals and composites while retaining strength and
durability. Alcoa was in the forefront of developing a first
generation of lighter materials, but the new ones go way beyond
that, the company says.
Alcoa's new aluminum- or aluminum-lithium based alloys and
advanced structural technologies use sheet, plate, forgings and
hard alloy extrusion products across aircraft structures,
including airplane wings and fuselage elements.
The company says aircraft made from these materials can
weigh up to 10 percent less than composite-intensive ones and
allow for a 12 percent increase in fuel efficiency, on top of
the 15 percent already gained from more efficient jet engines.
(Reporting by Steve James, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)