Aluminium’s importance to Waikato’s economy and community
Waikato’s aluminium industry businesses are estimated to have an annual turnover of approximately $1 billion as of 2019 – and represent some of the world’s most sophisticated aluminium extrusion and processing businesses in the world.
The Waikato has three large extruders (that’s the process where aluminium is forced through a ‘die’ to form products like window frames) Independent Extrusion (INEX), Altus, and Ullrich Aluminium.
They are crucial suppliers to almost all residential and commercial buildings in New Zealand, producing some 25,000 tonnes of the world’s lowest carbon extruded aluminium annually used in high-quality windows, doors, and other applications. In addition, Waikato-made extrusions are widely used across road transport and marine sectors.
As an industry, over 90% of all aluminium scrap is recycled, and even dies are recycled at the end of their useful life. This allows the industry to minimise waste by extracting value from spent product.
INEX also maximises this directly as it has a relationship with the smelter to return pre-consumer extrusion offcuts for recycling in New Zealand.