The SU3 potline consists of two production halls with a total production capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year. Due to the economic downturn following the financial crisis, Hydro curtailed SU3 in 2009 – 50% of the production capacity was restarted in 2011 and 2012.

In order to optimise the production capacity at the plant, Hydro has now decided to restart parts of the remaining potline, and to prepare for a complete startup by mid-year next year.

“We will start up one of the four remaining sections in November and December. Given that the startup goes according to plan and we still see positive developments in the markets for value added aluminium, the rest of SU3 will be ramped up by mid-year next year,” says Hilde Merete Aasheim, head of Hydro’s Primary Metal business area.

While ramping up SU3, the equivalent remelt volume will be reduced so that the total casthouse output from the Sunndal plant will remain approximately unchanged. Situated in the mid-western part of Norway, the Sunndal plant has an annual production capacity of 400,000 tonnes primary aluminium per year.

“In addition to the significant improvements at the plant over the last few years, the SU3 ramp-up will make our Sunndal plant even more robust,” says Aasheim.