This week, Hydro’s remelt and recycling plant in Deeside, Wales, opened its new sawing and homogenizing line. The new equipment cuts the plant’s energy consumption by more than 6 GWh per year and enables the plant to better serve its customers by introducing new product dimensions.
This week, customers were invited to tour the Deeside plant and see its latest investments. Through installing a new sawing and continuous homogenizing line, the Deeside recycling plant now can offer seven-meter-long extrusion ingots, the standard length of such products in Europe.
With the ability to offer the standard product length, the new equipment makes it easier for the plant to also serve the market in continental Europe.
Several HSE benefits
"The old equipment limited the length of our product to 6.4 meters, and the old batch homogenizing furnace consumed significantly more energy than the new equipment. Thus, we expect to cut our energy consumption by 100 kWh per mt, approximately 6.3 GWh per year," says Sue Bairstow, managing director of the plant.
She also highlights health and safety benefits with the new investment: Due to a more automated process, the risk of operators crushing a finger between logs while rolling them has been removed, and at the same time the noise level is reduced.
Representatives from all customers and key stakeholders were invited to the open day event on Tuesday this week. Among the several Hydro representatives present was executive vice president, Hilde Merete Aasheim.
"This project fits very well with our strategy to offer our customers what they need while at the same time improving health safety and environmental issues related to our operations," she says.
More efficient scrap yard
Phase two of the project, will be an expansion of the plant's scrap yard, with extra bins so that sorting the different types of scrap the plant utilizes is more efficient.
"Our ambition is to significantly increase the share of post-consumed scrap in our products. Good segregating of the scrap is crucial when the quality of the end product is a top priority," says Wayne Clifton, works manager at the plant.
In Hydro's recycling business, the Deeside plant is optimized to produce 178mm diameter extrusion ingots. The plant was commissioned in 1985 and mainly serves the UK market with products based on post-consumed scrap and conversion scrap from extruders in the region. With an annual production capacity of 63.000 metric tons, the Deeside recycling and remelt plant employs 39 people.