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Capital Markets Day 2011: Shaping the future

After an eventful year 2010 and the announcement of the largest transaction in the company's history, Norsk Hydro ASA is now preparing for a new era as a resource-rich and fully integrated aluminum company. As Hydro moves into a new league in the growing global aluminum industry, the focus on cost and operational performance remains a top priority.

As part of its intensified efforts to improve the company's competitive position, Hydro has accelerated the program to improve primary metal production by $ 300 a ton. The program is now expected to be implemented in 2013, a year earlier than expected.

"Thanks to continuous improvement work combined with skill and speed in developing and seizing business opportunities, we have left the crisis behind as a strengthened company," says CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

“50 percent of the start-up of production in the large Qatalum hut in Qatar. Unfortunately, there are technical challenges with the cooling water circuit in the associated power plant. This can cause an eight-week delay so that we can only reach full production in June 2011, ”says Brandtzæg.

Global aluminum consumption rose again in 2010 and is expected to stabilize at around seven percent outside of China in 2011. This gives rise to an optimistic outlook, in the short, medium and long term, for both raw materials and processed aluminum products.

The key points at Hydro's Capital Markets Day are:

  • The proposed acquisition of Vale SA's bauxite, alumina and aluminum businesses is expected to be completed by the end of the first half of 2011. Hydro is working closely with Vale to complete the acquisition as soon as possible and hopes to resolve outstanding issues earlier and close in the first quarter.
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  • The takeover makes Hydro's earnings more robust and the supply of aluminum oxide is secured for decades. The current market situation forms an attractive commercial foundation for alumina. Hydro believes that the future price of alumina must reflect the economic fundamentals of the bauxite and alumina value chain.
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  • The program to save $ 300 per ton in Hydro's own smelters is on schedule and the goal is to be achieved by the end of 2013, a year earlier than originally planned. An improvement of $ 50 per ton was realized in 2010, and a further $ 125 per ton is planned for 2011. The improvement program excludes the effects of raw material prices and currency fluctuations.
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  • Around 50 percent of the commissioning of Qatalum took place after the power failure in August. Further commissioning is currently hampered by technical challenges that are linked to the cooling circuit of the steam turbines of the gas power plant contract with General Electric / Doosan. These challenges are not related to the August 2010 power outage, but they may include an eight-week delay from the original plan, which anticipated full production by the end of the first quarter. Now it will probably not be reached until June 2011.
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  • Total capital expenditures for 2011, including investments in the maintenance of Vale's aluminum facilities, are estimated to be approximately NOK five billion, a decrease of NOK 6.7 billion in 2010. This includes four investments for Qatalum Billion NOK in 2010. Investments in maintenance in 2011 are estimated at NOK 3.5 billion.
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  • After the global demand for aluminum increased by 19 percent in 2010, with the exception of China, Hydro expects a further increase of around seven percent in 2011 and three to six percent in 2012, as well as a better balance between supply and Demand. China is likely to keep its balance on primary aluminum in the coming years.
This text is machine translated. To view the original German text, click on DE on the top right of this window

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