Norwegian aluminium smelter Norsk Hydro ASA announced last week the successful verification of its new proprietary energy-saving primary aluminium technology at Technology Pilot at Karmøy, Norway.
Per the firm, HAL4e is capable of producing primary aluminium using up to 15 percent less energy than the industry average. The two-year pilot program at Karmøy intended to determine whether commercial-scale use of the technology was possible.
Hydro’s goal was to produce primary aluminium using 12.3 kWh/kg in its 60 electroysis cells. Not only did the project achieve that goal, it also utilized HAL4e Ultra in a dozen of the cells to produce primary aluminium at 11.8 kWh/kg.
The final portion of the test was a 75-day-long session using 20 of the HAL4e pots, and various measurements were taken as the line ran. When the numbers came in at the end of the test, Hydro calculated an average energy consumption rate of 12.27 kWh/kg, exceeding the target by 0.03 kWh/kg.
Head of Hydro Aluminium Metal Eivind Kallevik elaborated upon the achievement in a related press release.
“We knew the targets were ambitious and this is unchartered territory and unique technology. The successful performance test is a result of great collaboration and stamina from many parts of Hydro. I want to congratulate everyone involved in this milestone and not least our external partners, who have contributed to making this happen.”
Hydro says it will now prepare to take in the second-generation cells at Karmøy, which are currently being built at Årdal.
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.