"In the search for light-weighting vehicles and reducing CO2 emissions, automotive customers are looking for innovative solutions in aluminium. We are therefore increasing our production capacity of automotive body sheet," says Executive Vice President Oliver Bell, head of Hydro's Rolled Products business area.
The new line, which has an estimated cost of EUR 130 million, is following a recent decision to expand the annual continuous heat treatment capacity from 20,000 to 50,000 metric tons. The expansion will include annealing and surface treatment lines, part of a flexible plant concept and innovative production processes at Hydro's Grevenbroich plant.
Combining newly developed high performance aluminium alloys and surface qualities, yields unmatched forming properties. Aluminium body sheet from the new production line will be used in manufacturing automotive components, including car hoods, doors, tailgates and side panels.
"With this substantial investment, we are pursuing our strategy towards the growth market within automotive, while also expanding our product portfolio. We are reinforcing our position in the European automotive market, and as the largest producer of flat-rolled products in Europe, strengthening our Grevenbroich plant in Germany as an industry location for advanced rolled products", says Bell.
The new production line will be completed in the second half of 2016. The cost of the investment will be distributed in the period 2014-2016, and does not change Hydro's earlier capex guidance for 2014.