Even if the power supply is cut off for a few milliseconds, Hydro's largest German plant, the Grevenbroich rolling mill, will fail 100 industrial plants due to the crash of the electronic process computer.
Production loss, fire risk, downtime of up to several days and a corresponding loss of earnings - the consequences add up, explains Dr. Stefan Kästner, Plant Manager Grevenbroich and Managing Director of Hydro Aluminum Rolled Products GmbH:
- "A sudden power cut causes the process computer to crash. & nbsp;
- This stops production, the continuous progress of our processing, whether in rolling, painting or finishing, hardening or stretching the aluminum strips and foils. Products in work would become unusable and scrap. & Nbsp;
- As we work with rolling oils, fire could break out as a result. You would endanger employees and cause damage to the systems.
- We would have to start up the process computers again over several hours, sometimes repair them.
- Broken fuses had to be replaced. In the event of a massive power failure, we could not keep enough spare parts in stock and would have to order them. This means that production not only comes to a standstill for several hours, but sometimes for a few days. ”
A single damage caused by a local power failure, including a corresponding loss of earnings, would therefore amount to around one million euros in the Grevenbroich plant alone. Such downtimes also delay Hydro's deliveries to customers and their own operations.
"We need base load electricity"
Hydro processes aluminum at nine other locations in Germany as well as in Grevenbroich and, together with a partner, operates Alunorf in Neuss, the largest aluminum hot rolling and melting plant in the world. “We are a typical base load buyer. We produce on many plants around the clock, seven days a week and 365 days a year. During this time we need electricity of constant quality for our production. Our production cannot tolerate voltage fluctuations or even power interruptions, ”says Irmtraud Pawlik. The managing director of Hydro Aluminum Rolled Products GmbH is in dialogue with politics, also as a member of the board of the VIK - Association of the Industrial Power Industry."Prolonged production interruptions due to power failures or frequent short interruptions would be catastrophic for our business," says Pawlik.
Oliver Bell, board member of the Hydro Group and chairman of the supervisory board of Hydro Aluminum Rolled Products GmbH, fears a significant disadvantage for Germany as an industrial location: "We welcome the energy transition - and we help, because our aluminum serves as a material for renewable energy generation and for energy-efficient solutions in the mobility sectors for all means of transport, in buildings, plant engineering and packaging. But if our production is severely disadvantaged due to general conditions such as an unstable power supply or unaffordable location costs, then the industrial nation of Germany cuts its own flesh, because as a result more and more companies not only delay or leave the necessary further investments, but at some point move away completely. German politicians should avoid this through balanced regulations and ensure that our industry can help shape the change to a more climate-friendly society of tomorrow.