LONDON, Mar 16, 2011 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Aluminum originally destined for Japan's air-conditioning systems is being used instead to construct temporary housing in the northeastern region of the quake- and tsunami-affected country, Norwegian producer Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY.OS) said Wednesday.
The aluminum was originally produced at Norsk Hydro's precision tubing plant in China and was supplied to Japan in the form of tubes.
One of the companies that Japanese authorities have asked to helped construct temporary housing is a Hydro customer, the company said.
"They asked us to speed up delivery due to the urgency of the situation, which was easy to get acceptance for from our colleagues in Suzhou," said Rune Nordgaard, sales manager for Norsk Hydro's Precision Tubing sector in Japan.
The round aluminum tubes represent another example of the conversion from copper to aluminum in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Line sets have traditionally been made from copper tubing, but an increasingly popular alternative is aluminum.
Aluminum matches the material of the heat exchangers and costs 35% less than copper, measured by length.