Thousands of Karmøy residents gathered in Kopervik to see Prime Minister Erna Solberg inaugurate the technology pilot at Karmøy in western Norway. “The technology pilot here at Karmøy is green, smart and innovative,” said the Prime Minister.
"I think it's fantastic that we are getting the world's greenest aluminium production here at Karmøy," says Astrid Margrete Lie. She is one of the many who were present when the technology pilot in Karmøy was inaugurated earlier today.
The technology pilot at Karmøy is an industrial-scale test plant, and Hydro's ambition with the pilot is to verify the world's most climate- and energy-efficient technology for aluminium electrolysis. The ambition is to reduce energy consumption by around 15 percent per kilogram of aluminium produced in relation to the international average, and with the lowest CO2 emissions in the world. Production is expected to start during the fourth quarter of 2017.
A pilot for the future
A total of NOK 4.3 billion has been invested in the project, including NOK 1.6 billion in support from the government energy conservation agency ENOVA.
More photos on Flickr
"What we are building now is a high-tech pilot for the future, with the world's most energy and climate-efficient aluminium production. The pilot will show the way not only for Karmøy, but for all our plants in Norway and around the world. So this is a pilot for all of Hydro, for the growth of future-oriented industry here in Norway, and for the global climate – and I'm most proud of all our highly skilled employees who have made this possible," said Hydro CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
Green, smart and innovative
The technology pilot was officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and from the stage in Kopervik she sent a drone to the Hydro Karmøy plant, carrying a pair of scissors for the ribbon cutting.
“Norway is in a restructuring process where we need to create new, value-creating jobs that can support our prosperity into the future. To succeed, we must make Norway more green, smarter and innovative. The technology pilot here at Karmøy is exactly that. Green, smart and innovative. Green, because aluminium from the pilot will be the most energy-efficient in the world, with the smallest carbon footprint in the world. Smart, because smart researchers at Hydro’s technology centers in Årdal, Porsgrunn and Neuss, Germany, have developed new technology that makes this possible. Innovative, because this lays the foundation for new, green industrial jobs in Norway,” Solberg said.
From adversity to progress
"First of all, I am very proud of our people – I am happy, grateful and also a little touched that we are gathered here today. Because the road has been long, and in the difficult years after the financial crisis most of our focus was on cost improvements and no one spoke about investments or new production. But together, we have turned adversity into progress, and we now open this technology pilot that will form the basis for the next 50 years – and it is fitting that it coincides with the 50th anniversary of Hydro's arrival in Karmøy in 1967," said Hilde Merete Aasheim, head of Primary Metal in Hydro, from the stage.
The inauguration ceremony was combined with a free concert at the main square in Kopervik, and the concert crowd appreciated performances by artists Arif, Amanda Delara and Alan Walker.
"It is fantastic that Hydro chose to invite the local community to this celebration," Lie said.