Aluminium recycling is one of Hydro's most important priorities towards 2025. Upgrading and start-up of the PFA casthouse in Årdal will increase the capacity for the recycling of post-consumer scrap by 25,000 tonnes per year, with production starting in 2023.
"We are seeing increasing demand for aluminium with a lower carbon footprint, especially in the automotive industry. This investment in Årdal will allow us to increase our capacity of hybrid aluminium, where we mix recycled scrap in the production of primary aluminium. This enables us to reduce our footprint and to expand our offering of Hydro REDUXA to the market,” says Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President for Hydro Aluminium Metal.
Hydro continues to grow in recycling of post-consumer scrap
Increased recycling of post-consumer scrap is one of three main initiatives in Hydro's climate strategy. Hydro's goal is to double the use of post-consumer scrap by 2025, from around 250,000 tonnes to over 500,000 tonnes per year, and to increase annual recycling EBITDA by a range of NOK 0.7 to 1.1 billion by 2025. The use of post-consumer scrap significantly reduces the CO2 footprint compared to pre-consumer/process scrap as well as primary aluminium.
The Årdal PFA restart is one of several investments made to reach Hydro’s recycling targets. In April, Hydro announced a tender offer for 100% of the shares of the Polish recycler, Alumetal S.A.
In Cassopolis, Michigan, Hydro will build a new state-of-the-art aluminium recycling plant, with production of Hydro CIRCAL commencing in 2023 . Hydro’s Rackwitz recycling plant near Leipzig in Germany is getting a significant capacity increase, planned to become operational by end of first quarter 2023.
Hydro also announced the decision to invest NOK 105 million to establish Høyanger Recycling in December 2021, a dedicated aluminium recycling facility located nearby the Hydro Høyanger primary aluminium smelter in western Norway.
Bringing more low value scrap back to life as value-added products
In the first quarter this year sales of Hydro CIRCAL and Hydro REDUXA were up 83% compared to first quarter last year.
“As customers are demanding more and more of our low-carbon and recycled products, we are gathering pace, and are well on track to deliver on our ambitious recycling strategy. With the Årdal investment, we will be able to process and recycle even more complex types of post-consumer aluminium,” says Kallevik.
Since Hydro’s aluminium production in Norway is entirely based on renewable power, its average CO2 emissions are only 25% of the global average and available to customers as Hydro REDUXA certified low-carbon primary aluminium. The introduction of post-consumer scrap in the production process of primary aluminium improves its climate performance even further.
“Our state-of-the-art technology and competent workforce allow us to dig deeper into the scrap pile. This enables us to bring more low value scrap types back to life as value-added products to demanding customers whilst supporting them in delivering on their sustainability-ambitions,” Kallevik says.
Årdal with important contributions to Hydro’s ambitious climate goals
Since 1947, Hydro Årdal has transformed itself from a farming community at the foot of Jotunheimen into a modern industrial society, stacked with technology development and innovation. The research center in Årdal will be central in developing new technology that will reduce the CO2 footprint from Hydro's aluminum production even further.
Towards 2025, Hydro Årdal will be an important contributor to Hydro’s ambitious climate goals, both through modernization of the plant and increased recycling of post-consumer scrap in the aluminium production.