Hydro is the leading supplier of foundry products and semi-finished products in Europe, which are currently mainly made from newly produced primary aluminum and pure process scrap. Hydro now wants to build a similar position in recycling.
"The time has come for Hydro to step up our aluminum recycling activities," said Brandtzæg, who is also the chairman of the international industry association, the International Aluminum Institute. “Not only do our customers expect this, we also see it as a great business opportunity for our company. We have the know-how and the densest network of foundries in Europe and the largest customer base of all aluminum companies. ”
Hydro operates a unique network of more than 20 foundries on all continents. This global network of expertise enables close exchange of experience for the best processes and technology. Hydro is also extensively involved in research and development on all steps of the & nbsp; Value chain from raw materials to the final product, with a strong emphasis on the casting and alloying of aluminum. The Hycast hydro unit is the world leader in casting technology. Hydro also buys large quantities of aluminum scrap and supplies it to its own foundries. Overall, this provides Hydro with a strong basis for expanding recycling activities.
Hydro recycles 280,000 tons in 2010
This year, Hydro will melt around 280,000 tons of scrap metal that comes from finished aluminum products and is impure, that is to say adheres to paint, for example - an increase of 40 percent compared to 2009. In addition, Hydro is melting around 800,000 tons pure process scrap. The new strategy is based on strong volume growth in the recycling of contaminated product scrap through improved utilization, technology and processes of Hydro's existing foundries as well as with the construction of new recycling plants.
First, Hydro examined the return of all its own scrap and waste containing aluminum in order to bring even more aluminum back into the material cycle. One result of this is the construction of a new recycling plant in Karmøy, Norway, which is scheduled to start operating in 2012. At full load, the plant processes 70,000 tons of aluminum slag, dross and scrap.
This follows on from the substantial investments made in the past four years when Hydro built new large furnaces in Hamburg, Neuss and the Alunorf joint venture in Germany. These increase Hydro's recycling capacity in the country by 150,000 tons. Other existing Hydro units in the core markets of aluminum use will, through smaller projects, increase Hydro's recycling capacity by another 100,000 tons per year as early as 2011.
Source of raw materials and business growth
Aluminum, which is recycled in Europe, means both an important source of raw materials and growth for Hydro. Europe will get significantly more scrap from products at the end of their use. At the same time, there is a growing demand for products that contain recycled metal. Hydro will work with market participants in the materials cycle to strengthen the competitiveness of the European recycling industry so that scrap from Europe is also recycled in Europe. At the same time, Hydro will use its expertise in technology and business to increase its market share - as Hydro has succeeded in foundry products in the past decade.
Hydro operates technologically leading aluminum smelters in Germany, Norway and Slovakia and also wants to develop them within the framework of European and global climate regimes, but at the same time Hydro wants to take advantage of the opportunities that arise in one of the world's largest markets for aluminum scrap. Developing a recycling business does not require the same type of investment per ton of aluminum produced as for primary aluminum. It is also an opportunity to expand our company's business close to our customers in an environmentally friendly way.
Hydro increases its recycling as the company strives to develop strategic raw materials in Europe, thereby strengthening the possibilities of European manufacturing industries to manufacture applications and products using recycled materials. In a second step, Hydro will also be looking to expand recycling activities in North America and Asia.