Hydro's CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim, the mayor of Kvinnherad Municipality and representatives from Industri Energi and Norsk Industri were present at Hydro Husnes last week, to mark that the aluminium plant in western Norway is now back in full operation for the first time in more than a decade.
“I have been looking forward to this. Finally, production is back in full swing at Hydro Husnes. Hydropower-based primary aluminium with a world-leading low-carbon footprint is produced here – you should be proud of that,” Aasheim said when she met employees at Hydro Husnes.
“Husnes is a symbol of new, greener industrial development in Norway – a modern cornerstone that expand and renews, that plays an important role in the local community in terms of jobs, but also a producer of low-carbon aluminium that plays an important role on the road to a circular economy. A big salute to everyone who has contributed, and to the 100 new employees here – welcome to Hydro,” said Aasheim.
One of two production lines, the B line, was closed in 2009 as a result of the financial crisis.
“It looked gloomy for a while. But the introduction of CO2 compensation in the EU and Norway made it possible to enter into new, market-based power contracts that ensured further operations and new investments. It shows how crucial the basic framework conditions are for the export industry in global competition, and it is important that they are predictable also in the future – that makes the difference between sunset industry and industrial development,” Aasheim emphasized.
In 2017, Hydro decided to invest NOK 1.5 billion in both a solid upgrade and the restart of the B line. Since then, work has been going on in the one-kilometer-long production hall and now the project has been completed: 200 electrolysis cells for aluminium production have been restarted. With technology elements from Hydro’s technology pilot at Karmøy, the plant is a world-class in terms of climate, environment and performance. About 195,000 tonnes of aluminium will now be produced here annually.
“This has been a long journey. From closing down to framework conditions falling into place and now that Hydro Husnes is back in full operation. It was great to enter a warm production hall full of activity. Congratulations to Hydro Husnes, said Leader of the Union Industri Energi, Frode Alfheim.