Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro will invest €130 million ($179 million) in a new production line at its rolled products plant in Grevenbroich, Germany, in a move aimed at increasing its capacity in automotive products.
The new line will boost capacity for aluminium car body sheet to 200,000 tpy, the company said.
“In the search for light-weighting vehicles and reducing [carbon dioxide] emissions, automotive customers are looking for innovative solutions in aluminium,” executive vp Oliver Bell, head of Hydro’s rolled products business, said in a statement.
“We are therefore increasing our production capacity of state-ofthe-art automotive body sheet,” he added.
The investment in the new line follows the company’s decision to expand its capacity for continuous heat treatment from 20,000 to 50,000 tpy.
The latest expansion plan will include annealing and surface treatment lines, Hydro said, as part of a “flexible plant concept” and “innovative production processes” at the Grevenbroich plant.
“Combining newly developed high performance aluminium alloys and state-of-the-art surface qualities, yields unmatched forming properties,” Hydro said.
The aluminium body sheet produced at the new line will be used in the manufacture automotive parts such as car hoods, doors, tailgates and side panels, it added.
“With this substantial investment, we are pursuing our strategy towards the growth market within automotive, while also expanding our product portfolio,” Bell said.
“We are reinforcing our position in the European automotive market, and as the largest producer of flat-rolled products in Europe, strengthening our Grevenbroich plant in Germany as an industry location for advanced rolled products.”
The new production line will be ready by the second half of 2016, and the investment cost will be spread over the period 2014-2016 period. This does not alter Hydro’s previous capital expenditure guidance for 2014.