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The furnace in Germany is capable of swallowing up to 50,000 metric tons of used aluminium annually, and remelting the metal for its next application.

Hydro expects this process to save more than 400,000 mt of carbon dioxide equivalents, annually, compared with the production of virgin aluminium metal.

The twin-chamber furnace is one of the largest and most advanced of its kind. The operation starts with removal from the aluminium of any lacquer, adhesives and compound materials. The emerging heat and gases from this smoldering process is then used directly in the subsequent metal melting process.

As a result, less energy is used than in other remelting furnaces.

"We have had the climate in mind with this furnace, but it will also help secure the competitiveness of our plant in Hamburg," says Oliver Bell, who is responsible for Hydro's rolled products operations.

Formal ceremony

Axel Gedaschko, the Senator for Economic Affairs in the City State of Hamburg, attended the inauguration recently and celebrated the investment, which he said is sound for business and for the environment.

Hydro also used the formal inauguration to forge closer ties with the Hamburg Industry Chamber, the Northern German Association of Metal Industry Employers, The German Association of Non-Ferrous Metals, WV Metalle, and leading executives of other metal companies.

Axel Brand, who manages the Hamburg plant for Hydro, demonstrated for Gedaschko and the other guests how the company is closing the material loop. Today, Hydro is a leader in the production of secondary aluminium, with remelting capabilities at nearly 30 different sites world-wide.

Remelting is an efficient process, using just 5 percent of the energy required to produce the primary aluminium.

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