Growing recycling capacity
The third furnace within three years has been built as part of the new recycling center at Alunorf, the world’s largest aluminium remelting and rolling facility, which is a 50/50 joint venture between Hydro and Novelis, the aluminium rolling group.
The new €16.6 million Euro investment makes the Alunorf plant more versatile and viable, adding recycling to the portfolio of activities, which focus on sheet ingot casting for subsequent hot and cold rolling.
Rolled aluminium products, mostly fabricated further at Hydro’s largest plant in Grevenbroich, Germany, mainly serve applications in packaging, building, automotive and transport, printing and general engineering.
As recycling only requires some 5 percent of the energy needed to produce primary aluminium, the new capacities amount to annual CO2 savings of more than 1 million tonnes compared to the average European primary aluminium.
Christa Thoben, Minister for Economy, Medium-Sized Businesses and Energy of Germany´s largest state Northrhine-Westphalia, lauded Hydro and Alunorf for their contributions to climate protection and economic strength of the region. Thoben officially inaugurated the twin-chamber furnace together with Hydro’s Executive Vice President Oliver Bell.
Bell stated: “Aluminium is serving society and the environment in many applications, and by recycling, can be used anew, again and again. Thus it is renewable energy in solid form. Consequently, politics should support recycling, similar to renewable energies.”
The Hydro recycling center at Alunorf, in two halls of more than 5,600 square meters, is creating 25 new jobs. The state-of-the-art facility saves energy also by burning lacquer, as attached to the scrap metal, and directly using the emerging gas to power the remelting process.
The center stands out with numerous environmental features, such as a regenerative combustion system, most modern cleaning of exhaust gas, the complete re-utilization of process remains, and indoor scrap handling.