Hydro reaches a milestone with the opening of the new HyForge casting line at its aluminium recycling plant in Rackwitz, Germany. The 40 million EUR investment responds to the automotive industry’s drive to decarbonize, significantly increasing the use of recycled, post-consumer aluminium scrap.
Image above: From left: Jenny Stenberg Sørvold, 1st Secretary, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin; Thomas Stuerzebecher, Managing Director, Hydro Aluminium Gießerei Rackwitz; Eivind Kallevik, Hydro EVP Aluminium Metal; Thomas Schmidt, Minister of Regional Development, Free State of Saxony; Photo Marco Prosch
The opening ceremony on September 14 marked the end of a 14 month construction process and the introduction of Hydro’s innovative HyForge forge stock segment at the Rackwitz plant. The technology allows for serving customers with smaller diameter aluminium billets with a superior surface quality that can be forged directly into high quality automotive components and other products, skipping further process steps such as extrusion or homogenization. Light weighting with aluminium is one of the most effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of vehicles without compromising safety.
“With HyForge, Hydro is literally forging the future of automotive, responding to the industry’s increasing demand for low-carbon, lightweight aluminium components. The expansion enables us to further develop our strategic partnership with automotive customers, while meeting both their high quality standards and increasing focus on sustainability,” says Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President for Hydro Aluminium Metal.
Contributing to Germany’s green transition
The Rackwitz expansion is an important step towards fulfilling Hydro’s ambitions within the fast developing area of recycling and doubling the use of post-consumer aluminium scrap by 2025. It is also delivering on the ambition to recycle more locally sourced scrap to ensure market leading sustainability performance.
“Our plant in Rackwitz is ideally located to serve the region’s automotive industry hub as more customers pursue their aim to decarbonize. It also provides easy access to sources of post-consumer aluminium scrap, giving significant customer value, and contributing to the circular economy and Germany’s green transition,” says Thomas Stürzebecher, Managing Director at Hydro Aluminium Gießerei Rackwitz GmbH.
Germany alone accounts for one third of the total European aluminium consumption. It is a large market for Hydro consisting of customers with ambitious climate targets that are clearly reflected in their expectations from suppliers like Hydro.
Hydro has been working to decarbonise its operations since the 1990s. The company has committed to a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, and aims to achieve net-zero by 2050, convinced that “nothing” is possible.
Recycling of post-consumer scrap such as beverage cans, window frames, car parts and other items that have lived a past life, is one of the pathways in Hydro’s roadmap to cut emissions and the fastest way to deliver zero-carbon aluminium. The Rackwitz expansion is one of several investments in best-in-class recycling technology to serve growing demand and regulatory push for low-carbon aluminium.
The HyForge line has a capacity of 25,000 tonnes per year, which comes in addition to the current annual production of 95,000 tonnes of extrusion ingot. The expansion has generated 20 new jobs, bringing the number of employees at the plant up to 90.