Meeting the demand for low-carbon aluminium

Årdal Recycling opened on 10 April by Mayor of Årdal, Christian Sønstlien; minister of trade and industry, Jan Christian Vestre, and plant manager, Anveig Bjordal Halkjelsvik. (Image: Jens Christian Boysen/Hydro)

Aluminium and renewable energy company, Hydro, has announced an investment of NOK 100 million (Norwegian Kroner) in recycling technology in the casthouse at its Årdal primary aluminium plant in Norway.

The company said the investment is part of its efforts to meet the demand for low-carbon aluminium in European markets, something which executive vice president of Hydro Aluminium Metal, Eivind Kallevik, agrees is continuously increasing. He also commented, “Thanks to the cutting edge technology and know-how utilised by our team in Årdal, customers can reduce the carbon footprint in their value chain and get closer to achieving their climate targets.”

The upgraded casting line in Årdal will mix primary aluminium made with renewable hydropower with up to 30 per cent post-consumer aluminium scrap. According to Hydro, this is resulting in a record low-carbon footprint that helps some of the most advanced customers in Europe cut the embedded greenhouse gas emissions of their products.

The recycling unit in Årdal had its official opening earlier this month (10 April). Hydro Årdal is now able to deliver REDUXA 3.0 aluminium with a carbon footprint of below 3.0 kg CO2e/kg aluminium. Apparently, this is approximately 80 per cent lower than the world average.

Hydro says it aims to become a net-zero producer of aluminium by 2050, and is on track to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2018 levels.

In addition to recycling of post-consumer scrap, Hydro is working toward full decarbonisation by introducing new technologies such as carbon capture and storage, as well as developing HalZero, a completely new electrolysis process with the potential to eliminate CO2 emissions from primary aluminium production altogether.

This investment by Hydro is an encouraging development for the aluminium sector, given that can makers such as Ball Corporation have already commented on the importance of sourcing low carbon aluminium for can production.

Elsewhere, those in the European and UK aerosol sector will also have much to discuss and learn about today, as it is the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association’s 2024 Innovation Day. Best of luck to the BAMA team, speakers and exhibitors at the event in Leeds, UK.

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