Norsk Hydro’s newest line at Grevenbroich, Germany began to produce rolled aluminium this week following weeks of pre-production trials and testing.
The new equipment represents a €130 million investment by Hydro, which is the firm’s largest single capital expenditure in Germany.
In addition to the initial marketable rolled aluminium production, the equipment was also used to turn out strips for testing by automobile manufacturers to qualify the material for future use in auto parts production.
“To get this challenging, innovative installation going on time and within its planned cost, is quite a strong accomplishment,” explained Pascal Wagner, Senior Vice President of the Global Products Business Unit. “Kudos and cordial thanks to the team, with our engineers, specialists and scientists, not least the partners for construction and technology.”
The project, which took eighteen months to construct, will be used by Hydro to meet a continually increasing demand for automotive aluminium.
“Only will we celebrate AL 3, when this plant will provide premium quality to our customers in a regular routine rhythm in 2017,” Wagner continued. “Until then we focus on ramping up AL 3 and finish its numerous qualifications at customers successfully.”
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.