Norsk Hydro To Invest NOK60 MM At Årdal Aluminium Smelter

Norway aluminium producer Norsk Hydro ASA announced this week NOK60 million (US$6.6 million) in improvements to Årdal aluminium smelter’s electrolysis cells aimed at improving efficiency, safety, and profitability at the plant.

The firm said in a press release that improvements at the plant would commence next spring and will include upgrades to the next-generation cell control system. The upgrades, which Hydro expects to have completed by year’s end, is expected to save 860 MWh of electricity each year.

Ola Sæter, Head of Primary Production in Norsk Hydro, said in a press release that the upgrade was a major step for the firm’s overall aluminium production.

“The aluminum plant in Årdal is core to Hydro’s Norwegian production system. The plant supplies low-carbon aluminum to customers with high quality expectations across Europe. In addition, Hydro Årdal is the main supplier of anodes to the other Norwegian aluminum plants. For us, safety and working environment always come first, and in addition, this investment will be used to modernize operations for the future.”

“In the next few years, Hydro Årdal will make important contributions to Hydro’s ambitious climate goals, both through modernization of the plant and increased recycling of post-consumer scrap in the aluminium production. Furthermore, the research center will be central in developing new technology that will reduce the CO2 footprint from Hydro’s aluminum production even further,” Sæter continued.

This upgrade is but the latest to operations at Årdal, which has been the site of NOK600 million (US$65.7 million) in improvements since 2017. Upgrades so far include improvements to casting technology, expansion and renewal of the anode plant on site, and increased electrolysis production.

“We are pleased with the investment, which will both provide a better working environment and increased safety for our operators and modernize the electrolysis process,” commented Wenche Eldegard, Plant Manager at Hydro Årdal. “This project is important to position Hydro Årdal for a future where the production of low-carbon aluminum is becoming increasingly important.”