The unit will reduce emissions of SO2 from the technology center by 200t/y. It is the first industrial application of this technology.

The new facility has an expected cost of NOK35M ($6.4M) and is scheduled to be in full operation by the autumn of 2012.

"We have evaluated SO2 capture in Årdal for some time and have now found a new solution that can be implemented and that will remove at least 95% of the sulfur emissions.

The installation will also be completed without creating additional emissions or production losses," said Are Dyrøy, who is responsible for environmental technology in the technology unit in Hydro's Primary Metal business area.

The treatment plant for the recovery of fluorine, which was built during the expansion of the technology center in 2008, does not remove SO2, as the metal plant in Årdal had dispensation for the increased discharge.

A standard solution for the treatment of SO2 would have increased project costs significantly. So studies were initiated instead into how treatment could be added at a later date.

A solution has now been developed in cooperation with the supplier Alstom that can be installed on a full scale. It is the world's first treatment plant of its kind.