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Norsk Hydro makes $345m bid to acquire Rio Tinto’s aluminum assets

EBR Staff Writer Published 27 February 2018

Norwegian aluminum company, Norsk Hydro has made a $345m bid to acquire Rio Tinto’s aluminum assets.

The assets being considered for acquisition include Rio Tinto’s ISAL smelter in Iceland, 53.3% share in Dutch anode facility Aluminium & Chemie Rotterdam, and 50% stake in Swedish aluminum fluoride plant, Alufluor.

Norsk Hydro expects the acquisition of Rio Tinto’s ISAL smelter to increase its total primary aluminum production capacity to 2.4 million tons in 2018.

Norsk Hydro president and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg said: “The offer demonstrates our strong belief in aluminum, which is seeing the strongest global demand growth among base metals.

“Having presence across the value chain is essential to create value from this growth and promote sustainable practices in our global operations.”

The Icelandic plant, through a newly built casthouse, also produces 230,000t of extrusion ingot which is used in the European construction and transport sectors.

Norsk Hydro primary metal business area head Hilde Merete Aasheim said: “We are now running a technology pilot in Norway which aims to be the world’s most energy-efficient and climate friendly aluminum production facility.

“These innovations will be expanded to other Hydro facilities, and as part of Hydro, ISAL will benefit from such technological spin-offs and competence.”

Rio Tinto Aluminium chief executive Alf Barrios said that the sale is further evidence of its commitment to strengthen its business and streamline its portfolio.

“ISAL, Aluchemie and Alufluor are a natural fit with Hydro’s portfolio and this transaction should secure the long term future for the sites and continued economic benefit for the wider communities.”

Subject to satisfactory completion of a consultation process with employees, relevant European works councils and other stakeholders as well as certain other conditions, the transaction in expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2018.

Image: Rio Tinto’s ISAL smelter. Photo: courtesy of ISAL/Einar Aron Einarsson.