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The Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil

Stories by Hydro

Ambitious fuel switch project will slash carbon emissions

The journey from raw material to finished aluminium begins with energy. Using energy from fossil fuels creates carbon emissions – a lot of them. Hydro is converting this energy source to liquified natural gas, a much cleaner fuel.

Hydro’s operations in Brazil start with bauxite, a common element in the ground. We extract bauxite at our mine in Paragominas and transport it to our Alunorte refinery in Barcarena, where it is converted into alumina – the main ingredient of primary aluminium.

Refining bauxite into alumina takes a lot of energy, and currently, Hydro has long been using fuel oil to power part of this process. This leads to a high amount of carbon emissions.

The switch to liquified natural gas, a much cleaner fuel, will lead to huge savings in carbon emissions – 600,000 tonnes a year for a start  – and will contribute a large share of Hydro’s ambition to cut overall climate-related emissions by 30% by 2030. In April of 2022, Hydro Alunorte signed a USD 200 million sustainability-linked loan to finance the project.

John Thuestad, left, and Bjørn Kjetil Mauritzen of Hydro
John Thuestad, left, and Bjørn Kjetil Mauritzen of Hydro

In this Hydro Talks podcast to talk about the “Alunorte fuel switch project” is John Thuestad, Executive Vice President of Hydro’s Bauxite & Alumina business, and Bjørn Kjetil Mauritzen, Head of Sustainability in Hydro.

They describe how the switch not only will cut carbon emissions, it will also improve the environment for our workers and the local communities, as well as build out critical infrastructure that can be a foundation for industrial and economic growth in the region.

You can hear more in the Hydro Talks podcast, “Act local, think global: Slashing carbon emissions in Brazil” and view other topics on the Hydro Talks page, where you will find links to Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts

The podcast Hydro Talks sets out to explore the modern dilemmas for industry and society. How can we create a more viable society? How can we produce better while consuming less? What should investors expect? What kind of technology and innovation can we implement to work smarter? In Hydro Talks we try to make sense out of these dilemmas. Remember to subscribe!

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