【DE】Hydro invests in aluminum recycling

Hydro begins the expansion of its aluminum recycling plant in Rackwitz, Germany, which leads to an annual increase in production volume by 25,000 tons in the HyForge forged bolt segment and significantly increases the use of waste.


The expansion of Hydro’s aluminum recycling plant in Rackwitz enables the production of the innovative HyForge forging material, which will significantly increase the use of waste from used aluminum products and thus, according to Hydro, should ensure a leading market position in sustainability performance.




Profitable and sustainable


Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President of Hydro Aluminium Metal, explains: “As more and more automotive customers value sustainability, we in Rackwitz are taking this groundbreaking step to produce HyForge products from aluminum. The result is forged bolts with smaller diameters, which have a first-class climate footprint due to the use of a high proportion of waste scrap. The business case shows that it is not only profitable, but also has an important dimension of sustainability. It brings us closer to our ambitious recycling goals.”




Significant reduction in footprint


The expansion in Rackwitz makes a significant contribution to Hydro’s goal of doubling the use of old aluminum scrap from around 250,000 tons to over 500,000 tons per year by 2025 and increasing the annual recycling EBITDA by 0.7 to 1.1 billion NOK by 2025. The use of waste reduces the carbon footprint compared to new scrap or Residues from processing as well as primary aluminum significantly.


The new plant is to go into operation with 20 new employees by the end of the first quarter of 2023 and supply automotive customers with high-quality smaller diameter bolts, which can be forged directly into high-quality automotive components. The plant currently produces around 95,000 tons of extruded bolts per year. With the expansion, Rackwitz plans to produce another 25,000 tons of HyForge product and increase the recycling of waste as an important raw material for new products in the factory. The investment is expected to amount to around 40 million euros.




Lightweight pushes aluminum insert


Since the automotive industry has attached importance to lightweight construction and sustainability for several decades, the use of aluminum has steadily increased. This is due to the low weight, excellent mechanical properties, corrosion resistance and processing possibilities of aluminum. Aluminum plays an important role in reducing the weight of electric and hybrid vehicles, as lighter cars require less power and fewer or smaller batteries to cover the same distances.


Once the new plant is in operation, Hydro will be able to offer the entire portfolio of forged bolts of large to small diameters, including scrap recycling. Forging pre-materials are aluminum bolts with a smaller diameter and higher surface quality than a conventional bolt.


These forged bolts can be forged from our foundries to safety-critical automotive parts, such as wheel suspension parts, immediately after delivery. This means that the number of machining steps from the foundry to the final automotive part is greatly reduced – which leads to cost efficiency and higher product quality compared to conventional processes.


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