More than 950 exhibitors from 50 nations are taking part in this week's Aluminium 2014 World Trade Fair & Conference, which is expected to attract around 25,000 visitors. “Lightweight, corrosion-resistant and infinitely recyclable, aluminium is becoming an increasingly important building block of modern society and modern life,” says Svein Richard Brandtzæg, Hydro's president and CEO.
Together with senior executives Hilde Merete Aasheim and Oliver Bell, he is present at the fair to meet customers on Hydro's stand. With a PhD in inorganic chemistry, few industry leaders in the world are as enthusiastic about the inherent properties and benefits of aluminium as Svein Richard Brandtzæg.
Several investments“From energy-neutral buildings, to fuel-efficient cars, to mobile phones and tablets – aluminium plays an important role, even more important than many of us are aware,” he says.
At the Aluminium 2014 fair, Hydro is highlighting its recent investments within aluminium casting and rolling. The project to bring a third automotive sheet line on stream at its Grevenbroich site in Germany in 2016, is on track, set to increase capacity to 200,000 tonnes a year.
“This investment is an important strategic move for us, in an era where light-weighting of vehicles is becoming increasingly important in order to reduce CO2 footprint,” says Brandtzæg.
Also within casting and recycling, Hydro is currently undergoing major investments in order to stay in the forefront of the industry. The investment in new flexible adjustable moulds technology (AFM) at the primary metal casthouses in Årdal and Høyanger, Norway, is a major step for Hydro’s sheet ingot business, supplying advanced alloys to automotive producers in Europe.
Further, a EUR 45 million investment in recycling of used beverage cans at the company’s Rheinwerk plant in Neuss, Germany, is set to strengthen Hydro’s competitive position in the beverage can segment. With the new recycling plant in operation, recycling capacity at the Rheinwerk plant will increase to 100,000 tonnes per year.
A long-term partner
This year, Hydro will turn 109 years old. Brandtzæg says the company’s history is proof of Hydro’s long-term determination and ability to constantly renew itself.
“With more than a century of experience from developing natural resources into products that help build a modern and more viable society, Hydro can for sure say that we are one of the select few aluminium suppliers that are truly long-term and reliable,” he says.
“Primary aluminium is energy-intensive to produce, but the metal’s many positive qualities in the user-phase, combined with the fact that it can be recycled over and over, gives it a compelling climate story from a life-cycle perspective. So compelling, in fact, that Hydro’s ambition is to become carbon-neutral by 2020, which is good news for us, good news for our customers, and great news for the climate.”Brandtzæg emphasizes that being part of the solution to the climate challenge is a pre-requisite for being a company for the future.
|Hydro – Europe’s no.1 aluminium company||Leading European positions|
|A fully integrated global aluminium company with activities along the entire value chain
• Global provider of alumina, aluminium and aluminium products.
• 13,000 employees involved in activities in more than 50 countries.
• Annual revenue €7.9 billion (NOK 64,880 million, 2013), 60% in Europe
• 50% ownership of Sapa, world’s largest aluminium extrusion company with 23,000 employees and €5.4 billion annual sales
• Recognized as an industry leader in corporate sustainability; on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index series every year since the rankings were introduced in 1999.
|• Europe’s largest producer of primary aluminium with production in Germany, Norway and Slovakia.
• Europe’s market leader on rolled aluminium products with 5 rolling mills in Germany, Norway and Italy, including 50% ownership of Alunorf, the world’s largest rolling mill.
• Norway’s second largest power plant operator, with an annual hydropower production of 10 TWh.
• Nearly 8,000 employees in Europe; 3,400 employees in Norway and 4,600 employees in the EU, of which 3,460 in Germany.
• Additionally, our joint venture Sapa employs 9,000 people in Europe.