The groundbreaking ceremony this week marks the construction start of an expansion at Hydro’s aluminium recycling plant in Rackwitz, Germany. The expansion will enable production of the innovative HyForge forge stock segment, which will significantly increase the use of post-consumer aluminium to ensure market leading sustainability performance.
“With more automotive customers putting emphasis on sustainability, we are taking this break through step at Rackwitz to produce aluminium HyForge products, resulting in even smaller diameter billets, while ensuring a best-in-class climate footprint by using a high share of post-consumer scrap in the process," says Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President for Hydro Aluminium Metal.
"The business case shows that it is not only profitable, but it also has an important sustainability dimension, and it brings us closer to reaching our ambitious recycling targets,” Kallevik says.
Important for recycling growth – operational by end of first quarter 2023
The Rackwitz expansion is an important contributor to Hydro reaching its target of doubling use of post-consumer aluminium 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 new facility is planned to become operational by end of first quarter 2023 with 20 new employees, serving automotive customers with smaller diameter, high quality billets that may be forged directly into high quality automotive components. The plant currently produces around 95,000 tonnes of extrusion ingot per year. With the expansion, Rackwitz plans to produce an additional 25,000 tonnes of HyForge and increase the recycling of post-consumer scrap as a major raw material for new products in the plant. The investment is expected to be around EUR 40 million.
Aluminium essential for decarbonizing automotive and transport sector
“We have a strong collaboration and partnership with the automotive industry, and with the introduction of HyForge, our position as a preferred partner will only get stronger. Our Rackwitz plant is located close to Hydro’s key automotive customers and scrap sources. Together with the HyForge product this is an ideal fit when it comes to the high quality standards and rapidly increasing focus on sustainability in the automotive industry,” says Thomas Stuerzebecher, Managing Director, Hydro Aluminium Metal Rackwitz.
With the automotive industry putting emphasis on light weighting and sustainability for several decades, there has been continuous growth in the use of aluminium. This is due to aluminium’s light weight, excellent mechanical properties, corrosion resistance and its processing possibilities. Aluminium plays a significant role in the light weighting of electric and hybrid vehicles, as cars need less electricity, and fewer or smaller batteries to travel the same distances.
HyForge – a high quality automotive product made with low-carbon aluminium
Once operational, the new facility will enable Hydro to offer the full forge stock diameter portfolio from large to small, including scrap conversion. Forge stock is an aluminium billet with a smaller diameter than a traditional billet and with higher surface quality.
These billets can be forged into safety critical automotive parts, like wheel suspension parts, straight after delivery from our casthouses. This means that the number of processing steps from casthouse to automotive part are greatly reduced – leading to cost efficiency and higher product quality compared to traditional processes.
The HyForge volumes will complement the volumes already being produced at Hydro's aluminium plant in Husnes, located in western Norway.
Through the high share of post-consumer scrap in HyForge billet to be delivered by Hydro Rackwitz, the plant will be able to provide these low-carbon aluminium products with a guaranteed CO2-footprint of below 4 kg CO2 per kilo aluminium – which is less than 25 percent of the global average for primary aluminium.
Pictured in top image, from left: Hans Bjerkaas (Head of Recycling Operations), Trond Olaf Christophersen (Head of Recycling), Eivind Kallevik (Executive Vice President Hydro Aluminium Metal), Thomas Stuerzebecher (Managing Director Rackwitz), Christian Schmidt (Head of Recycling Technology & Project Management).
Published: July 07, 2022