Hydro: Preparations for a new recycling line for used beverage cans completed

Recycling of Aluminium scrap (Foto: © Norsk Hydro ASA 2014 / Terje S. Knudsen)

Düsseldorf — „Not one gram of used aluminium should be lost“ – that is the philosophy of Hydro, one of the leading manufacturer of rolled products made from this unique material of the future. At Aluminium 2014 in Düsseldorf, Hydro has announced that the plans for a new integrated recycling line for used beverage cans (Used Beverage Can Line) at its Rheinwerk Plant in Neuss are now complete. Preparations for the construction of this new UBC line, the most modern of its type in the world, will begin in November 2014.

The key highlight of the € 45 million investment is the sensor technology developed by Hydro’s Research and Development Centre for the identification and separation of scrap according to type. Unrivalled to date, this invention ensures that exactly specified liquid aluminium from the remelting process can be conducted back into the production loop.

„We are thereby taking full account of the growing need for recycled aluminium in the world market, particularly in the packaging sector. We are also extending our know-how leadership as well as strengthening our international competitive position in the beverage can segment,“ says Executive Vice President and Head of Hydro’s Rolled Products business area, Oliver Bell.

Contracts are awarded

Meanwhile, all plans for operating the new recycling plant at Neuss have been finalised. The contracts for the two main sections have already been awarded. Küttner Non Ferrous in Essen, technology experts in the supply of integrated system solutions for melting equipment in the non-ferrous industry, will take care of the hot section, i.e. the remelting furnaces. The cold-section work including the supply of equipment for the shredding, sorting and processing of used aluminium prior to the remelting process have gone to Albert Hoffmann GmbH in Eschweiler.

Plant commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2015. Around 40 new employees will be required for the new plant, which covers an area of 20,000 m² and is designed to increase recycling capacity at Rheinwerk to 100,000 metric tons a year.

Further 50,000 metric tons ensured

With regard to environmental impact, Hydro will use state-of-the-art recycling processes to ensure that further 50,000 metric tons of reprocessed aluminium from the new recycling plant in Neuss can be produced using only five per cent of the energy required, for example, for the equivalent production of primary aluminium. As a result of successful projects like these, Hydro has repeatedly been at the top of its industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

„The recycling of aluminium packaging in Germany now avoids the emission of 390,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents,“ emphasises Hans-Jürgen Schmidt, Head of Product Ecology for rolled products in Hydro. As one of the 14 international members of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, the company helped to draw up the key criteria for the sustainable and responsible use of aluminium worldwide.

Source: Norsk Hydro ASA