New Dimensions

/ HICON JOURNAL 2024-01-EN | Gregor Kücher, HPI

New Dimensions

HPI supplies a new casting line to HYDRO Rackwitz. This will help satisfy the increasing demand for green aluminum.

With the opening of the new HyForge casting facility at their aluminum recycling plant in Rackwitz, Germany, Hydro Aluminium has passed another milestone. This forty million Euro investment is in response to the automotive industry’s effort to decarbonize, and increases Hydro’s capacity for recycled aluminum scrap.

On September 14, 2023, opening ceremonies marked the end of a 14-month construction project and introduced Hydro’s innovative HyForge forging stock at its Rackwitz works. Technology supplied by HPI was incorporated into the new casting line, making it possible to supply customers with billets with small diameters and superior surface finishes. HyForge billets can be forged directly into high-quality automotive components and other products, without additional processing steps such as extrusion or homogenization. This is a tremendous advantage, as lightweighting with aluminum is one of the most effective methods to improve the energy efficiency of motor vehicles without sacrificing safety.

Contributing to the “green transformation” in Germany

For Hydro, the expansion of the Rackwitz plant is an important step towards fulfilling its ambitious goals in the recycling sector. Among other targets, the company plans to double the amount of aluminum scrap it processes by 2025. The expansion also allows more regionally-sourced scrap to be recycled, ensuring that Hydro remains a market leader in sustainability.

Germany alone represents a third of the total European demand for aluminum. It is one of Hydro’s major markets, and includes customers with ambitious climate goals that are reflected in the expectations they place on suppliers such as Hydro.

Decarbonizing industry

The recycling of scrap such as beverage cans, window frames, automotive parts and other objects that have reached the end of their service lives is one of the many strands in Hydro’s strategy to reduce emissions. It is also the fastest way to supply carbon-neutral aluminum. The expansion of the Rackwitz plant is only one of several investments the company has made into firstclass recycling technologies intended to satisfy both the growing demand for and the regulatory push toward aluminum with a small carbon footprint.

The new HyForge line has capacity of 25,000 metric tons per year, which is in addition to current annual production (95,000 metric tons of extrusion billets). The expansion also led to the creation of 20 new jobs, increasing the number of employees at the Rackwitz plant to 90.

With HyForge, Hydro is literally forging the future of the automotive industry and is responding to the increasing demand for lightweight aluminum components with small carbon footprints.

This expansion enables us to strengthen our strategic partnerships with customers in the automotive sector, meeting their high quality standards and supporting their growing focus on sustainability.

Eivind Kallevik – Executive Vice President, Hydro Aluminium Metal

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