Norsk Hydro has made a formal investment decision to develop a full-scale pilot plant in Karmøy (pictured) for aluminium production with a final build decision conditional on securing a robust power solution for the technology pilot.
An overall power solution includes new competitive power contracts for the pilot plant, and a clarification from Norwegian authorities regarding the industrial ownership of power within the current consolidation model, which will enable withdrawal of power instead of financial dividends. Hydro recently entered into a new power contract with Lyse Produksjon AS for 330 GWh annually in the period 2031-2040, which covers a third of the plant’s power needs in this period.
Hydro is working actively to cover the remaining power needs.
‘The most important thing remaining is to find an overall power solution for the pilot plant’, Hydro‘s President and CEO, Svein Richard Brandtzæg, said.
Through the technology pilot, Hydro aims to industrialize the world’s most energy and climate efficient technology for aluminium production, with an ambition to reduce energy consumption by 15% per kilo of aluminium produced compared to the world average, and with the lowest CO2 footprint in the world.
The roughly NOK3.9 billion (US$515 million) pilot plant is designed with an annual production capacity of approximately 75,000 tonnes, with a possible startup in the second half of 2017, at the earliest.