Alunorte Becomes World’s First Alumina Refinery Certified Under ISO 55001

Alunorte Becomes World’s First Alumina Refinery Certified Under ISO 55001
Hydro's alumina refinery in Brazil now has several important international certifications. Source: Norsk Hydro

Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA announced this week that its alumina refinery in Brazil has become the world’s first to achieve ISO 55001 certification, bringing its total certifications for safety and responsible production to seven.

Additionally, Alunorte Alumina Norte Brasil S.A. will also be listed among ISO’s Technical Committee Members, which is another first.

ISO Certification at the site is the culmination of over a yearlong effort that was concluded with an on-site inspection by independent auditors. The certification also shows that Hydro is directly contributing to the seven Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, which is also part of its social responsibility goals.

Michel Lisboa, Alunorte’s industrial director, said in a press release that the certification shows his firm’s commitment to maintaining the highest class of operations on the site.

“This certification confirms that our processes are reliable and that we are a sustainable company. For the market and our customers, it demonstrates the seriousness and commitment of the company, confirming that we are a reliable partner. For the community and authorities, the seriousness in dealing with the processes is clear, and the employees realize that they are in a company that positions itself as the market leader.”

Luís Augusto Linhares Santos, Alunorte’s executive manager, said the certification is only the next step in the never-ending journey of excellence.

“Our preparation had continuity, even with all the challenges during the pandemic, respecting the strictest safety standards. Now, we have the responsibility to maintain this certification and increasingly improve our processes with a focus on excellence in asset management.”

Other certifications held by the Alunorte plant include four other ISO certifications, SA 8000 certification, and two certifications from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI).

Norsk Hydro, which was founded in 1905, financed by the Swedish Wallenberg family and French banks, began its life named Norsk hydro-elektrisk Kvælstofaktieselskab (literally, “Norwegian hydro-electric nitrogen limited”) by Sam Eyde. The Norwegian government owns approximately 40% of the company at the present time. Norsk Hydro is one of the largest aluminium companies in the world, with plants in Rjukan, Raufoss, Vennesla, Karmøy, Høyanger, Årdal, Sunndalsøra, and Holmestrand. Norsk also has several plants abroad, including in Germany and Brazil.