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Just two months ago, Hydro broke ground on the expansion of its aluminium recycling plant in Rackwitz, which will add 25,000 tonnes of forge stock through higher volumes of post-consumer, end-of-life scrap. The recycling facility is the extrusion plant’s closest neighbor.

The investment in the new extrusion press represents a second life for the press, which was acquired after previous use by a competing company. Its production will be used for customers in the building and construction, transportation, and general engineering market segments.

A great opportunity

“This investment allows us to expand our fabrication area and improve the service level for our customers even more with better delivery times and availability of supply,” says Matthias Hellmann, who manages the extrusion plant for Hydro’s Extrusion Europe business unit. “It’s a great opportunity for us, confirming our outstanding performance, the location itself and our unique culture here in Rackwitz.”

The plant is one of four in the company’s DACH organization, which serves extrusion customers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Three of the plants are in Germany, one in Austria. They operate nine extrusion presses, with two more on the way. One will be in Rackwitz and the another in Nenzing, Austria.

Aluminium billets ready for the production of extrusion profiles at Hydro's Rackwitz plant
Aluminium billets ready for the production of extrusion profiles at Hydro's Rackwitz plant

Each plant offers fabrication services in addition to extruded aluminium solutions. All four are certified according to both the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s Performance Standard and its Chain of Custody Standard.

Energy saving unit and reduced emissions

The biggest difference between the new press and the other two presses in Rackwitz is its lower carbon footprint. The continuous aging oven will use 20 percent less energy than the others.

In addition, the press’s ingot heating oven utilizes an energy saving unit. The waste gas from the continuous furnace is used to heat water, which is then dropped on the ingot, heating the metal.

The construction phase of the project will begin later this year, with extrusion operations expected to start toward the end of 2023.

Hydro employs around 250 people at the Rackwitz extrusion plant. Originally founded in 1925 as a research center for aluminium forming, the plant began extrusion operations in 1958 and today serves more than 800 customers.