Sergei Belsky, Rusal's director of sales for Russia, expects consumption to reach 1Mt within18 months, driven mainly by the automotive industry, which, he claims, will grow by 8% over the next eight years.

According to Belsky, added value products will lead the field in Russia and CIS, making up 75% of supplies.

The company hopes to boost sales of casthouse alloys, used extensively by the automobile industry, by 6% in 2012.

Belsky believes cable will represent the company's second biggest growth area, aligned with Russia's need to upgrade its power grid infrastructure. Sales of wire rod in Russia and the CIS should rise by 3% this year, he claims.

Rusal's customer base in Russia and the CIS breaks down as follows: 36% (fabrication); 30% (cables); 13% (extrusions); 9% (automotive); and 7% (ferrous metallurgy).

Rusal has developed a new aluminium zirconium alloy and is introducing aluminium alloyed with rare earths and transition metals for use in the cable industry as an alternative to copper.