LIGHT METAL ECO-SUSTAINABILITY
Big step to reward eco-sustainability of light metal and development of primary with zero CO2 footprint
Important news announced for Rusal, the largest aluminum producer outside China, 57% owned by EN+, the London-listed hydroelectric-metallurgical group formerly controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska before the United States imposed sanctions on it. In fact, Rusal has decided to separate its refining and smelting production activities on the basis of and according to its CO2 footprint, concentrating its interest in a new company dedicated to the fast-growing "green" aluminum market.
RUSAL BECOMES AL+
According to the industrial plan announced in recent days, Rusal will change its name to AL + , will have 12 more modern plants in the group, will retain the mineral resources upstream of the light metal production chain and the share of almost 28% in the metallurgical group Norilsk Nickel.
The other five smelters, plus four refineries and two bauxite mines, the raw material needed to produce alumina and eventually aluminum, will be controlled by a new company, as yet unnamed. As known, and repeatedly reported by our magazine, Rusal had been working for some time on the development of innovative technologies to produce primary aluminum at industrial level with the aim of zero carbon footprint, a path also pursued by many other major producers such as Alcoa, Rio Tinto, Hydro.
To this end, Rusal has studied, among other things, the replacement of smelter anodes, currently made of carbon, with others made of a new material that releases oxygen instead of CO2. According to Rusal president Bernard Zonneveld, following this plan, which should be completed by the end of 2021, the new AL+ company will be able to fully concentrate on the program that meets market needs for increasingly environmentally friendly aluminum.
Greg Barker, former British minister of energy and climate change, executive chairman of EN+ and appointed interim chairman of the new AL+ company, pointed out that it will be listed on the Moscow Stock Exchange and that shares will be proportionally distributed to Rusal investors. He added that the separation plan had been decided following a strategic review launched at the beginning of the year when EN+ had announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35% by 2030, to reach zero by 2050.