The opening ceremony of Hydro's automotive line in Grevenbroich, Germany, was attended by approximately 500 guests from the world of politics, civil society, Germany's automotive industry, key suppliers, Research and Development networks and stakeholders locations.
The new state-of-the-art automotive line will increase Hydro's ability to supply aluminum to car manufacturers, increasing the company's annual body production capacity from 50,000 to 200,000 tonnes. Altogether, Hydro supplies approximately one million tonnes of aluminum annually to the automotive industry, helping the industry to build better, safer, more comfortable and - above all - greener cars.
“This is where our lightweight, strong, corrosion resistant and infinitely recyclable aluminum comes to life - for the car of tomorrow, we need the metal of the future. Here, in Hydro's new automotive line, we make automotive dreams and aspirations a reality, enabling our partners, who are among the most innovative car producers in the world, to make their vehicles lighter and thus reduce fuel consumption and emissions when in use, ”said Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
“Strengthening jobs and security in both countries”
The inauguration was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, illustrating the strong link and close cooperation between the two countries. Both heads of state spoke from the stage, before presenting the new production line.
Angela Merkel said that the new automotive line is "an excellent birthday present and a promise for the future". She described the new facilities as instrumental in encouraging greater lightness in automobiles - helping Germany's automotive industry and the climate. The chancellor also emphasized the unique energy efficiency of aluminum, which can be recycled infinitely with just a fraction of the energy initially used.
The chancellor also described aluminum with a “light weight” metal, but a “heavy weight” in the industry.
Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg emphasized the importance of Hydro's investment in Germany as part of a puzzle to help combat climate change.
“And it is no accident, therefore, that aluminum is called a“ green metal ”. This lightweight metal is a material for the future and has significant potential for further use. With this new line, Hydro will be helping the automotive industry to replace steel with aluminum. This makes cars lighter. And lighter cars consume less energy, so they are more environmentally friendly. The new line is a good example that combating climate change and being successful in the global market go hand in hand, ”said the Prime Minister of Norway.
The prime minister also acknowledged the investment made from a bilateral standpoint.
“Hydro is an industry leader in Norway and one of the leading global aluminum companies. It is very positive for Norway that Hydro is strengthening its international presence. It is also positive for Germany that Hydro decides to invest in this region, due to its proximity to the German automotive industry. In this way, job creation and greater security in both countries are encouraged, ”she added.
Guided tour of the new production line
After the official inauguration, the Chancellor and the Prime Minister paid a visit to the new production line, guided by engineer Lutz Kaufmann, before making a brief statement to the press.
“There are also many examples of solid ties between the two countries, such as the gas pipeline and the electrical cables that connect southwestern Norway with northeastern Germany. In choosing Germany as our strategic partner for submarines, I believe that we are strengthening the good foundation we have for long-term relations, both in the defense and industrial sectors. The Norwegian company Hydro has made a series of strategic investments in Norway and Germany in recent years, aiming to satisfy the aluminum demand of the automotive industry, while ensuring the viability of highly skilled jobs in both countries. The new automotive line here in Grevenbroich, on the outskirts of Düsseldorf, is an excellent example of this, ”said the prime minister.