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Car manufacturers around the world are looking for lighter materials so that their cars pollute less. Accompanying this industrial megatrend, Hydro has made strategic investments in Norway and Germany in recent years to meet this demand and, at the same time, ensure the viability of highly skilled industrial jobs in both countries.
The automotive line in Germany, valued at 130 million euros, is the biggest investment made by Hydro in recent times to meet the growing demand from car factories.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will attend the grand opening of our plant in Grevenbroich, during which the two heads of state will speak to Hydro employees, customers and other political and industrial guests before to open state-of-the-art facilities.
The metal of the future
Aluminum is the preferred metal for automotive applications for several reasons: its density is only one-third that of steel; it has excellent resistance to corrosion; conducts heat and electricity efficiently and - not least - is infinitely recyclable. In addition, aluminum - when used in alloys and produced intelligently - absorbs energy with a high level of efficiency, making cars safer.
“While the demand for aluminum grows 2-3% per year globally, we expect demand from the automotive sector to accelerate at a rate of 14% per year, due to rules and regulations that encourage producers to build more cars lightweight, that are more environmentally friendly. An automotive part made of aluminum weighs approximately half that of a steel part. Within an uncertain world, one thing is certain: the world needs more aluminum ”, explains Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg. & Nbsp;
Produced in Europe!
Investment in the new automotive line is closely linked to investments that Hydro has done in the upstream segment of its value chain in Norway. In recent years, foundry factories in Sunndal, Hoeyanger, Aardal and Karmoy, Norway, have been modernized with innovations and equipment designed especially to meet the demands of producers. Total investments correspond to almost NOK 150 million. Since 2012, Hydro has invested approximately NOK 7.5 billion in the production of primary aluminum and energy in Norway. The new foundry technology is being implemented in Hoeyanger and Aardal, where Hydro produces sheets for laminates which, in our factories in Germany, are transformed into sheets for use in the so-called “ hang-on ” components, such as doors, hoods and trunk covers.
At the Karmoy plant, Hydro is investing in the world's most advanced primary aluminum production technology, from the point of view of the environment and energy efficiency - the Karmoy Technology pilot project - and is also modernizing one of the two foundries that will be dedicated to special products, mainly aimed at the automotive sector. Karmoy metal is used in the extrusion of automotive components such as bumpers, piping systems and beams.
Hydro recently invested in electromagnetic stirring equipment in one of our furnaces in Sunndal. The intention is to ensure better quality aluminum ingots which, to a large extent, will be the metal used in the production of automotive components such as engine parts and wheels. & Nbsp; & nbsp;
Germany - the main market
Germany is Hydro's main market, with an estimated overall turnover of € 1.4 billion in 2016, and more than 6,000 employees in Hamburg, Rackwitz (near Leipzig), Neuss and Grevenbroich. & nbsp ;
In the Neuss region, Hydro operates the largest and most powerful aluminum network in Europe, which consists of the Rheinwerk foundry and recycling plant, the Alunorf rolling mill, operated in a joint venture system, < and the finishing plant at Grevenbroich. All of these activities are supported by the largest research and development center in the aluminum sector in Europe, based in Bonn, and the aluminum sorting center used in Dormagen.
Hydro's core activities in Germany are production for the automotive sector, plates, cans, general engineering and aluminum for lithographic use.