Aluminum production has now begun at Hydro’s HAL4e-process pilot facility in Karmøy (Norway), according to a new press release. The Hydro-developed HAL4e aluminum production process will reportedly allow for 15% less energy use, and a much lower carbon footprint.
The beginning of production in Karmøy marks the beginning of the verification process for the HAL4e aluminium production tech — in other words, we now get to see if all of the promises have truth to them.
If all goes well, then the aluminum produced with the HAL4e process will possess the lowest carbon footprint of any produced anywhere in the world — which will no doubt be worth something from a marketing and sales perspective.
The press release provides more:
“Hydro began the HAL Ultra R&D initiative in 2010, with the long-term vision of being able to produce aluminium at a specific DC energy consumption of only 10 kWh/kg without net CO2 emissions. The technology pilot is designed with an annual production capacity of approximately 75,000 tonnes, consisting of 48 cells running on the HAL4e technology (12.3 kWh/kg) and 12 cells using the latest HAL4e Ultra technology (11.5-11.8 kWh/kg). This is well under the world average of 14.1 kWh/kg aluminium and Hydro’s own average of 13.8 kWh/kg aluminum.”
“Compared with the technology used in Hydro plants in Sunndal and Qatar, the new pots will be 50% larger and produce 50% more metal from each pot, while also using less energy per kilo produced. Total costs are estimated at NOK 4.3 billion ($557 million), consisting of net project costs of NOK 2.7 billion ($350 million) and around NOK 1.6 billion ($207 million) in support from Enova.”
This is not a cheap project by any account, but a necessary one if aluminum production is going to continue at scale while also reducing carbon emissions.
Notably, Hydro’s existing aluminium production plants will be able to benefit fairly easily through the implementation of tech that’s been verified to work well through the new project, reportedly.