Norsk Hydro Plans Restart of Second Production Line at Husnes Aluminium Smelter
15 December 2017 by Staff
Norsk Hydro A.S.A. announced on Thursday that the decision has been made to upgrade and restart the currently-idle second production line at Hydro Husnes in southwest Norway.
Restarting the line, which was idled in 2009, will see the facility’s total aluminium output double. Hydro says that improvements they plan to make to the line prior to its restart in early 2020 will make operation more efficient as well.
Hilde Merete Aasheim, Head of Primary Aluminium in Hydro, elaborated upon the firm’s expectations for the plant.
“We have great faith in continued aluminium production in Norway. We are making use of new technology elements in this re-start, and building up a robust and future-oriented plant at Husnes. For Husnes, this means increased profitability, lower energy consumption and additional jobs.”
The investment in Hydro Husnes is initially slated to total NOK1.3 billion (US$157 million), and is expected to boost production capacity from 95 thousand metric tons to 190 thousand metric tons of primary aluminium per annum. A final build decision is expected in the fall of next year, but preliminary estimates have the restart adding an additional 90 jobs to the plant, which currently employs 245 people.
“In the aim of minimizing operating costs we have, since 2009, sourced equipment and components from the closed line for operations and maintenance of the producing line. This means that we need to upgrade the closed line before re-starting, and we make use of new technology when we do so that will contribute to increased productivity and lower energy use,” Aasheim asserted.
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.