Alunorf, the world’s largest aluminium plant for hot rolling and remelting, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of operation with an extensive revamp. Alunorf, in Neuss, Germany, is a 50/50 joint venture owned by Hydro and Novelis.
Rolled aluminium processed by Alunorf is used throughout Europe and far beyond as printing plates for newspapers, as hoods, doors and other components in automobiles and elsewhere in transportation, as yoghurt lids, beverage cans and in many more applications … but there is no Alunorf brand marketed or visible on the products. This makes Alunorf a “silent giant” of the aluminium industry.
The current investment of about €80 million into Hot Mill 1 will increase capacity by 150,000 tonnes per year and is in addition to other recent projects totaling about €50 million. This secures a world-leading position for Aluminium Norf GmbH, a key asset in Hydro’s aluminium cluster with Rheinwerk Neuss, the smelter and recycler, and the Grevenbroich plant for finishing of high-end rolled products.
On April 30, 1965, then-owners Alcan and VAW signed the agreement to found and build Alunorf. Two years later, production started. First full-year capacity was 60,000 tonnes in 1968, achieved by 400 employees. By adding a second hot mill, Alunorf became the only aluminium plant in the world with two hot mills and today is the largest site of its kind, shipping 1.5 million tonnes per year. (This size would have created a predominant market position, so the concept of two competing owners remains mandatory.)
Hydro acquired its 50 percent share in Alunorf with the acquisition of VAW Aluminium in 2002, creating Europe’s leading rolled products group with substantial synergies among Grevenbroich, Rheinwerk and Alunorf, including a closed loop to recycle material after use.
The now 2,300-strong Alunorf staff and 800 retirees celebrated their 50 successful years with a big family event on May 1. Kjetil Ebbesberg, executive vice president of Hydro with responsibility for Rolled Products, thanked Alunorf employees for their remarkable contribution over the past decades, looking forward to continued joint success based on safe processes and effective teamwork.
Hannelore Kraft, Minister President of Northrhine-Westfalia, sent a greeting note of appreciation and best wishes for continued success for Alunorf.