Norsk Hydro bans Russian aluminum from 2023 purchase deals

Bratsk aluminium smelter. (Reference image by UC Rusal Photo Gallery, Wikimedia Commons).

A division of Norsk Hydro supplying aluminum products to industries including auto and construction will exclude Russian metal from deals to buy aluminum for 2023, the Norwegian company told Reuters.

Companies with contracts for this year, agreed in 2021, have continued to buy Russian producer Rusal’s aluminum, the world’s largest producer outside China, but for next year some are already looking elsewhere.

Novelis, a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries, confirmed to Reuters that it had issued a tender to buy aluminum stating that no Russian aluminum would be accepted. It declined to provide any additional details.

Norsk Hydro spokesperson Halvor Molland declined to say how much aluminum the company’s extrusions division, Hydro Extrusions, was looking to buy for next year, but he did say the aluminum was for its European operations.

The tender also excludes Australian, Azerbaijan, Indian, Iranian, Kazakhstan and South African aluminum.

“There are different reasons for excluding different origins, including carbon footprint,” Molland said.

“The reason for excluding Russian origin metal is linked to Hydro’s decision in March, following the invasion of Ukraine, to not enter new contracts with Russian-linked counterparts.”

On March 2, Hydro said it had decided not to enter into new contracts linked to Russian producers until further notice.

Molland said Hydro Extrusions’s tender to buy primary aluminum produced using renewable energy such as hydro, wind or solar was sent out recently, but did not specify the date or the deadline for offers.

Rusal supplies the world with 6% of its primary aluminum needs, estimated by analysts at around 70 million tonnes this year.

Hydro Extrusions consumes about two million tonnes of primary aluminum a year. It gets some of its metal from Norsk Hydro, but because it operates as an autonomous unit it also has to buy aluminum from external sources.

(By Pratima Desai; Editing by David Evans)

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