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Hydro starts aluminum production at HAL4e pilot plant; highest energy efficiency, smallest CO2 footprint

Hydro has started producing the first aluminium metal at its technology pilot in Karmøy, marking the start of verifying at an industrial scale the HAL4e aluminium technology. Compared to the world average, the Hydro-developed technology will use 15% less energy in aluminium production and has the lowest CO2 footprint.

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.

Hydro1

Source: Hydro.

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 (US$557 million), consisting of net project costs of NOK 2.7 billion (US$350 million) and around NOK 1.6 billion (US$207 million) in support from Enova.

Hydro2

The technology pilot consists of physical technology elements and a much improved process control system. Several of these elements can be tailored for and used in Hydro’s existing aluminium plants.

Resources

  • Martin Segatz, Jorund Hop, Pierre Reny, Håvard Gikling (2016) “Hydro’s Cell Technology Path towards Specific Energy Consumption below 12 kWh/kg” Light Metals doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-48251-4_50

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