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The new facility is planned to become operational by end of first quarter 2023, serving automotive customers with smaller-diameter, high-quality billets that may be forged directly into high-quality automotive components.

“After successfully introducing this product at the Hydro Husnes primary plant, we are now taking this break-through step at Rackwitz for even smaller diameter billets while ensuring a best-in-class climate footprint through using a high share of post-consumer scrap in the process,” says Trond Olaf Christophersen, Head of Recycling in Hydro Aluminium Metal.

“This project is an important contributor to Hydro reaching its target of doubling use of post-consumer aluminium by 2025,” says Christophersen and adds that the construction of the new facility is estimated to cost just above EUR 40 million and will start shortly. 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 traditional billets, and with a superior surface quality. HyForge billets from Hydro can be forged straight after delivery into high-quality automotive components, like wheel suspension parts, without adding any further process steps such as extrusion or homogenization.

Christophersen says that the Rackwitz plant near Leipzig, Germany is ideally placed to serve key automotive customers and provides access to sources for increased recycling of post-consumer scrap, providing significant customer value and contributing to the circular economy.

Rackwitz ticks all the right boxes

“The Rackwitz plant and the HyForge product tick all the right boxes when it comes to the automotive industry’s high-quality standards and rapidly increasing focus on sustainability,” says Christophersen, adding: “This investment is a perfect fit to Hydro’s overall ambition to lift profitability and drive sustainability, and our ambitious growth targets within the fast-developing area of recycling.”

The Rackwitz recycling plant is specialized to serve automotive customers and is qualified to deliver products for safety components.

“We are already a preferred supplier in the automotive market and that position will only get stronger with the introduction of HyForge,” says Rackwitz Plant Manager Thomas Stuerzebecher.

The plant currently produces around 95 000 tonnes of extrusion ingot per year. With the expansion, Rackwitz plans to produce an additional 25 – 30 000 tonnes as HyForge and increase the recycling of post-consumer scrap as a major raw material for new products in the plant.

“Through the high share of post-consumer scrap in HyForge to be delivered by Rackwitz, we are able to provide these products as Hydro REDUXA with a guaranteed CO2-footprint of below 4 kg CO2 per kilo aluminium – which is less than 25% of the global average for primary metal,” says  Stuerzebecher.

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