The investment will go to a new preheating chamber, which will be installed during the year. This will be used for preheating cold metal and post-consumer aluminum before it is added to the casting process. Today, the casting furnaces are used for preheating, but a dedicated preheating chamber will make the casting process more efficient, safer and it will use surplus heat from the casting furnace as an energy source.
“This project involves increased profitability, sustainability and safety. Hydro has an ambition to double the use of post-consumer aluminum. This investment will contribute to this, while reducing the plant’s CO2 footprint through smart utilization of surplus energy. This strengthens Hydro Årdal’s profitability and competitiveness. A preheating chamber will also make it even safer to add post-consumer aluminum to the casting furnace, as preheating eliminates the risk of moisture in the metal,” says Ola Sæter, Head of primary production in Hydro.
Increases production by 5,000 tonnes
The casting furnace emits excess heat during operation. This can be used as an energy source for the new preheating chamber. This results in a reduction in the CO2 footprint and the increased efficiency achieved with the preheating chamber will enable Hydro Årdal to increase production by about 5,000 tonnes a year.
“This is very positive for Hydro Årdal. We see that the projects we implement are both profitable and sustainable, and that strengthens the plant for the future,” says Wenche Eldegard, plant manager at Hydro Årdal.
This investment comes on top of a recently announced NOK 60 million investment to upgrade the electrolysis cells at Hydro Årdal.