Hydro and its joint-venture partner PENTA have made a joint investment decision to expand operations at the Slovalco plant in Slovakia, enabling the plant to produce both primary aluminium and serve as a remelter for conversion scrap from extrusion plants in Central Europe.

The Slovalco plant is located at the heart of a growing aluminium market, and the new remelter facility attached to the existing plant will be able to serve extrusion plants in Slovakia and neighboring countries by converting their process scrap to aluminium products.

Hilde Merete Aasheim, Head of Primary Aluminium in Hydro, says the expansion will enable Hydro to maintain its position as a preferred partner for conversion services in this market and significantly strengthen Slovalco’s robustness.

“Slovalco continuously delivers strong operational performance and is located very close to a fast-growing extrusion market. Lightweight aluminium is a metal in demand, partly due to its recycling properties and we are here to supply this market across the value chain, from the primary aluminium production through remelt and recycling capacity,” Aasheim said.

Slovalco today produces about 174,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year. With the coming upgrade of the plant to also function as a remelter, the plant will be able to remelt a total 50,000 tonnes of clean process scrap. An additional 4,000 tonnes will be remelted through existing holding furnaces.

The expected total investment for the new furnace is EUR 13 million. The final build decision is expected Q1 2019.