Norsk Hydro ASA Business Report FY ended Dec. 2012

Business Highlights

Recent Years
Heat Exchanger
-The Company's rolling mills produce a wide variety of strip and sheet used in the manufacture of heat exchangers for passenger and commercial vehicles as well as other product applications. The Company is the largest supplier in Europe, working with key customers such as Behr, Denso and Modine, to develop specially adapted alloys and optimized production techniques to fit their manufacturing processes.

Aluminium Sheet and Coil
-The Company is the second-largest supplier of aluminium sheet and coil to the European automotive market for interior and exterior vehicle body parts, chassis and component applications. Key customers include BMW, Daimler,  Peugeot and Porsche. Production is focused within their Grevenbroich and Hamburg plants.

Precision Tubing
-The Company produce and sell products used in heat transfer applications, mainly for the automotive market, which represents about 75 percent of the total market segment. The Company operates globally and have leading market positions in Europe, North America and South America, and a smaller, developing market position in Asia. Key customers for products such as air conditioning and cooling systems, radiators, heat pumps, charge air coolers, transmission oil coolers and evaporators include Volkswagen, Denso, BMW, Delphi, TI, Valeo, Hutchinson, Visteon, Parker and Behr.


-In 2012, the Company announced that the Pininfarina Bluecar, an electric vehicle of the Italian car design factory Pininfarina in collaboration with the French industry group Bollore, features side wall panels made of aluminum body sheet, developed and delivered from Hydro's rolled products plant in Grevenbroich, Germany. In 2011, about 3,000 cars were produced. The entire fleet is mobilizing the new Parisian car-sharing system Autolib, which was launched in December 2011. Hydro won a contract to supply additional 200 metric tons of rolled aluminum needed for the Bluecars to be built in 2012. This second generation of Bluecars will be improved, saving more than 50 kg on the steel understructure. Hydro's Rolled Vision team is working on special aluminum foil for electric car batteries. Hydro also collaborates with Volkswagen, Ford and 12 other institutions in the international "LIGHT e-BODY" project to develop a light-weight body for electric vehicles. (From a press release on February 28, 2012)

New Plants

-In 2012, the Company announced that it has doubled the size of its aluminium tubing plant and opened its new same-site extrusion facility in Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province, China. The company has invested 300 million NOK, approximately 41 million euros, in this project, which was launched in early 2011. The project covered two new extrusion presses. One of the new presses is dedicated to heat transfer tubing components and systems, while the other will be used to serve industrial customers who require also added value services such as fabrication. Hydro started production in Suzhou in 2005, when it opened the aluminium tubing plant. The plant delivers precision drawn tubing and microchannel profiles for automotive and non-automotive heat transfer applications. In total, Hydro has around 300 employees at its site in Suzhou. (From a press release on November 20, 2012)

Plant Closure

-In 2012, the Company has entered into a binding agreement to sell its aluminium remelt plant in Taiwan to Ting Sin Metal Co. Ltd., which supplies a wide variety of aluminium alloy products for the Taiwanese market. In accordance with this transaction, Hydro will focus on supplying primary metal products to Taiwan. The transaction is expected to close during October 2012. Hydro invested in the remelt plant in March 2008, and the company is a fully owned subsidiary. The remelter has an annual capacity of about 75,000 metric tons of extrusion ingot, and is mainly serving the Taiwanese market. (From a press release on September 24, 2012)

-In 2012, the Company announced that it is stopping its remelt operations for aluminum products at its plant in Ardal, Norway, while continuing with finished products based on primary production. One of the two casthouses in Ardal will be closed. About 60 positions are associated with remelting of cold metal at the metal plant. Hydro expects the foundry will be closed during the autumn. (From a press release on August 15, 2012)

-In 2012, the Company announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to sell its extrusion plant, Portalex, in Portugal to Germany-based Bavaria Industriekapital AG. The transaction is expected to close on August 31, 2012. The extrusion plant is located in Cacem near Lisbon, and employs about 170 people. Hydro has owned the Portuguese plant since 1995, when it acquired the company from UK-based Caradon Plc. (From a press release on August 1, 2012)

-In 2012, the Company announced that in October 2012, it will cease extrusion operations at its facility in Monett, Missouri, the U.S. The plant employs approximately 140 people. In 2009, the company consolidated its extrusion operations from nearby Cassville to the Monett site. (From a press release on August 1, 2012)

-In 2012, the Company announced that it is considering full curtailment of the Kurri Kurri aluminum plant in Australia. The plant has three pot lines with a total annual production capacity of 180,000 metric tons. Following the curtailment of one pot line in January 2012, current primary aluminum production is 120,000 metric tons. The plant currently employs 344 people. Book value of Kurri Kurri is around 1.1 billion NOK, approximately 146 million euros. (From a press release on May 23, 2012)

-In 2012, the Company's aluminium tubing plant in Denmark and the Turkish company Konveyor have signed a cooperation agreement designed to support customers in their replacement of copper tubing with aluminium in heating, ventilation and air conditioning applications. Hydro will supply precision-drawn aluminium tubes while Konveyor is a specialist in capillary tubing and can handle fabrication work like bending, beading, swaging and brazing. (From a press release on February 6, 2012)

-In 2012, the Company announced that it is considering curtailing production at its Kurri Kurri aluminum plant in Australia. Kurri Kurri, acquired by Hydro in 2002, has three production lines with a total annual production capacity of 180,000 metric tons. Currently, approximately 500 employees are working at the plant. (From a press release on January 11, 2012)


R&D Facilities

R&D network -Norway: Oslo, Raufoss, Sunndalsora, Karmoy, Porsgrunn, Ardal
-Denmark: Logumkloster
-Germany: Bonn, Ulm, Neuss
-Belgium: Neupen
-US: Holland (MI)