More natural energy
The aluminum profile manufacturer Hydro Extrusions with production in Vetlanda, Finspång and Sjunnen, among others, wants to lead the way towards a more sustainable future and create more viable local communities. To be fully successful, a greater effort is required, both from themselves and society at large. The goal is to switch to 100% locally produced energy from renewable energy sources. If they succeed, the factories in Vetlanda, Finspång and Sjunnen will become one of the Hydro group's greenest facilities. Hydro Extrusions therefore wants to invest heavily in each nearby area through strategically important and large-scale investments in solar energy, battery storage, wind power, energy efficiency, hydrogen production and fuel switching to hydrogen. In the first phase, the company plans to set up solar panels and install battery storage systems to supplement local hydropower.
Positive forces on a broad front
The Swedish industry demands greener energy, more stable energy supply and more reasonable electricity prices, just as today's consumers do, but the transition is slow. A large part of the industry, including Hydro Extrusions, operates in southern Sweden where the need for electricity in general and greener energy in particular is greatest. Therefore, it is important that the industry gets the right conditions and the opportunity to use different sustainable alternatives. Wind power is one of many good options for Hydro Extrusions on the way forward. Today, wind power is a type of power that can be expanded large and fast in the near term and can supply industry with renewable energy. Hydro wants to see an expansion of wind power and also aims to identify a suitable location for its own wind farm. The goal of the wind farm is to ensure greener electricity for the company's factories in Sweden. In parallel with this initiative, work is now also underway to investigate possibilities with solar cells, energy efficiency through, for example, heat exchange from already existing processes, batteries to balance the electricity grid and fuel change to hydrogen produced from renewable energy.
"Hydro must continue to lead the way in sustainable aluminum production and be a positive force on a local level. We are constantly reducing our emissions and recycling more scrap, but it is not enough. The next step is to expand the perspective with more green energy from the local area. In order to counteract the climate crisis and do more with less, several different efforts are required on a broad front. When you say yes to renewable energy sources, you also enable the industry's climate transition and secure jobs," says Jonas Bjuhr, CEO of Hydro Extrusions Sweden.
Everyone wins from the changeover
Aluminum is a strong, light and durable material. It is the third most abundant element in the earth's crust and it can be recycled any number of times without losing its properties. The material is used in virtually all industries and can be found in everything from common everyday items in the kitchen drawer to vehicles of various types. Demand for low-carbon aluminum is also greater than ever. Hydro Extrusions has made this its area of expertise and can today deliver aluminum profiles with one of the lowest carbon footprints on the market. It is possible thanks to large investments in remelting scrap into new ingots in Sjunnen, for example, and the fact that a certain percentage of ingots from factories in Norway already use renewable energy sources. With each passing year, Hydro reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases from its production and increases the recycling rate in its remelters, but no matter how you twist and turn it, the production and recycling of aluminum are energy-intensive processes. The key is to make the processes more efficient, but above all, more renewable energy is needed at the local level. Without the latter, you cannot reach a zero level of carbon dioxide emissions.
"The climate issue is not only about reducing emissions as much as possible. It is also about increasing the competitiveness of companies and creating new opportunities locally. Our investment in remelting in Sjunnen is a good example of that. A faster and smarter transition is something positive that benefits entire communities and business in the places where we operate. Everyone wins from that," says Jonas Bjuhr, CEO at Hydro Extrusions Sweden.
: September 02, 2022