Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA announced plans this week to invest NOK320 million (US$32.7 million) in upgrades to its plant at Karmøy. The planned upgrades would consist of improvements tailored at reducing the plant’s overall carbon footprint.
Per the firm, the upgrades to its AP18 potline would include a modernization to the plant’s power supply and its anode rodding plant. The 22kV switchgear will be replaced and an automatic transport system will be added to the anode rodding line.
Hydro says the project will commence this winter and is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.
Ola Sæter, Head of Primary Production in Hydro, said in a press release that the project is proof positive of the firm’s desire to remain a low-carbon aluminium leader in Europe.
“We are investing in the future of Hydro Karmøy, demonstrating our commitment to producing low-carbon, hydropower-based aluminium for the European market. The investment will modernize the plant and secure a robust power supply for the decades to come, as well as improve the safety at the plant.”
“This investment will the Karmøy plant more robust, and further improve the competitiveness of Hydro Karmøy,” continued Sæter.
The plant’s current nameplate capacity is 270 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium per year from the plant’s twin production lines. The site also houses Hydro’s technology pilot line.
Hydro says the project is contingent upon a final build decision, which it expects in the fall of this year.
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.