Hydro’s New Casting Line in Rackwitz Boosts Low-Carbon Aluminium Production

Hydro’s New Casting Line in Rackwitz Boosts Low-Carbon Aluminium Production
From left: Jenny Stenberg Sørvold, 1st Secretary, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin; Thomas Stuerzebecher, Managing Director, Hydro Aluminium Gießerei Rackwitz; Eivind Kallevik, Hydro EVP Aluminium Metal; Thomas Schmidt, Minister of Regional Development, Free State of Saxony. Source: Norsk Hydro/Marco Prosch

In an effort to accommodate the rising demand for low-carbon aluminium, Hydro announced the inauguration of its HyForge casting line at the Rackwitz aluminium recycling facility. The 40 million EUR project demonstrates the automotive sector’s focus on decarbonization and heightens the incorporation of recycled aluminium scrap from post-consumer goods.

This development, wrapped up in 14 months, has allowed Hydro’s innovative HyForge forge stock segment to be part of the Rackwitz facility. This cutting-edge technology offers high-caliber, smaller diameter aluminium billets. These billets possess superior surface quality, enabling direct forging into high-end automotive parts. This technology removes the necessity for further processes like extrusion or homogenization. Emphasizing the efficacy of aluminium for vehicular energy efficiency, the new method promises lightweight products without compromising on safety.

Eivind Kallevik, Hydro Aluminium Metal’s Executive Vice President, elaborated on the achievement in a press release.

“The HyForge instigates a new automotive future. It resonates with the rising need for lightweight, low-carbon aluminium parts. This augmentation fortifies our automotive alliances, meeting superior quality and sustainability demands.”

The Rackwitz enhancement is pivotal for Hydro’s goal in the burgeoning recycling domain, aiming to double post-consumer aluminium scrap utilization by 2025. The project also reiterates the commitment to locally sourced scrap recycling for optimal sustainability.

Thomas Stürzebecher, the Managing Director at Hydro Aluminium Gießerei Rackwitz GmbH, highlighted the plant’s strategic locale.

“It’s positioned to cater to the region’s auto industry, aligning with decarbonization targets. Plus, it’s close to post-consumer aluminium scrap sources, maximizing customer value and bolstering the circular economy and Germany’s eco-friendly transition.”

One-third of Europe’s aluminium consumption is credited to Germany. Hydro sees a vast clientele here, all of whom have stringent climate goals reflected in their anticipations from suppliers.

Since the 1990s, Hydro’s been at the forefront of decarbonizing operations. They’ve vowed to slash carbon emissions by 30% come 2030 and are striving for net-zero by 2050. Post-consumer scrap recycling remains crucial in Hydro’s strategy to diminish emissions and swiftly produce zero-carbon aluminium. The Rackwitz project is the latest of several investments by the firm in superior recycling tech to cater to the growing need for low-carbon aluminium.

The HyForge line boasts a 25,000-metric-ton annual capacity, supplementing the existing 95,000 metric tons of extrusion ingot. The venture also grew the facility’s staff count to 90.