Alcoa Corporation announced a $51-million project to increase the production capacity at its Mosjøen smelter in Norway by 14,000 metric tons per year (mtpy). Alcoa’s Mosjøen location currently has a nameplate capacity of 200,000 mtpy, and the investment is expected to increase that capacity to 214,000 mtpy by the end of 2026.
Amperage to the site’s two potlines will be increased via improved electrical infrastructure, including the installation of new high voltage cabling and switching equipment. The planned investment will also improve the site’s existing anode production processes.
We continue to build on our positive history of increasing the capabilities and output of our existing assets through process improvements and capital investments. Mosjøen is already a top-performing asset in Alcoa’s global system, and this investment reflects its operational excellence, the dedication of our employees, and the strong support from our many customers and community stakeholders.—John Slaven, Alcoa’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
The Mosjøen smelter is fully powered by renewable energy and produces rolling ingots and foundry alloys, including metal for Alcoa’s Sustana line (earlier post), which is the most comprehensive offering of low-carbon products in the aluminum industry.
In that brand family, Mosjøen produces EcoLum aluminum, which offers less than 4.0 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (scope 1 and 2) from bauxite mining, alumina refining, and aluminum smelting and casting. It also produces EcoDura aluminum, which includes at least 50% recycled content.
Induction furnace. Alcoa also recently announced that its Mosjøen facility is now operating a state-of-the-art induction furnace that uses renewable energy to melt and recycle scrap aluminum.
The project stems from a collaboration between Alcoa and MMG Aluminium, a German-based metals trading company that supplies Mosjøen with clean aluminum chips and shavings that have been compressed into briquettes.
Induction Furnace Operator Serban Baci inspects the aluminum inspects aluminum alloy briquettes that were once scrap and will soon be sustainably recycled.
The induction furnace efficiently melts those briquettes and then pours out the recycled aluminum for blending with the smelter’s low-carbon aluminum and various alloying materials, depending on the end-use applications.
Most plants across the world remelt scrap using furnaces powered by natural gas burners located on the walls and roofs, radiating heat onto material placed in the center. Mosjøen’s induction furnace, however, runs on electricity sourced from wind and hydropower and uses alternating current that runs through a resisting coil, creating heat. That heat melts the scrap and any impurities are removed before pure aluminum is poured off via the furnace’s tilting mechanism.
By melting aluminum through renewable-powered induction, approximately 4,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year are avoided by not using a traditional furnace with natural gas.
Alcoa’s induction furnace was Alcoa’s single largest return-seeking capital project in 2021, and it was built in a record 10 months.
In the past three years, Alcoa Corporation has invested approximately $50 million in sustaining and return-seeking capital projects at the location.