SA aluminium battery box used in Tesla
The KwaZulu-Natal based aluminium rolling operation, Hulamin, has carved out a very important global niche. It is now the only supplier in the world that can produce a crucial fitting that enables Wi-Fi connections on aircraft, says CEO Richard Jacob.
Hulamin makes rolled aluminium products, using high-end technology and adding silicon alloys like silicon, it manufactures very specialised products that are used in electric vehicles like Tesla.
Hulamin is one of the few producers of high-end aluminium products for electric cars. Hulamin has a long-standing contract with South African-born Elon Musk’s Tesla car company to supply battery box base plates. These ultra-light heat-treated plates can withstand massive amounts of weight and heat. Hulamin has a growing client base for its electric car inputs.
Jacob estimates that Hulamin in Pietermaritzburg now controls half the global market for ultra high-end aluminium products.
He said that moving the factory to the US would not make sense to clients in Germany and Japan. The efficient Durban harbour is only 80km away and the cost of transporting it to other markets is reasonable. From a global perspective, South Africa is not badly positioned at all.
'Long-standing contract with South African-born Elon Musk’s Tesla car'