Chancellor Merkel at Hydro automotive line inauguration: ‘A promise for the future’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg inaugurated Hydro’s new automotive line for light and advanced aluminium solutions in cars, in Germany.

May 4, 2017
Chancellor Merkel at Hydro automotive line inauguration: ‘A promise for the future’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Hydro President & CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg together on stage during the inauguration of Hydro’s new automotive line for light and advanced aluminium solutions in cars. (Photo: Nils Vibe-Rheymer)

Watch the inauguration in full and find more pictures here:

Event site

The ceremonial inauguration at Hydro’s automotive line in Grevenbroich, Germany, was attended by approximately 500 guests from politics and civil society, the German automotive industry, key suppliers, R&D networks and internal stakeholders.

The new state-of-the-art automotive line will strengthen Hydro’s ability to supply car makers with aluminium, increasing Hydro’s annual production of car body sheet from 50 000 tonnes to 200 000 tonnes. In total, Hydro supplies nearly one million tonnes of aluminium to the automotive industry per year – helping the industry to build better, safer, more comfortable and – most importantly - greener cars.

“This is where our light, strong, corrosion-resistant and infinitely recyclable aluminium really comes to life: To build the car of tomorrow, you need the metal of the future. Here at Hydro’s new automotive line, we turn automotive dreams and aspirations into reality, enabling our partners among the most innovative car makers in the world to lightweight their vehicles, thereby curbing fuel-consumption and emissions in use,” said Hydro President & CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg in his opening speech.

“Boost job creation and security in both our countries”

The inauguration was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, illustrating the strong bond and close cooperation between the two counties. Both heads of state both spoke from the stage before unveiling the new production line.

Angela Merkel stated that the new automotive line is “exquisite anniversary gift and a promise for the future”. She described the facility as instrumental to push automotive light-weighting – which is helping the German car industry and the climate. She also emphasized on the outstanding energy efficiency of aluminium by recycling it again and again at a fraction of the initial energy need.

The chancellor also described aluminium as a light-weight metal, but a “heavy-weighter” in the industry. 

Prime Minister Erna Solberg emphasized the importance of Hydro’s investment in Germany, as a piece of the puzzle to help combat climate change.

“It is for good reason, therefore, that aluminium is called the ‘green metal’. This lightweight metal is a material for the future, and has significant potential for increased use. With this new automotive line, Hydro will be helping the car industry to shift from steel to aluminium. This makes cars lighter. And lighter cars use less energy, and are thus more climate-friendly. This is a good example of how combating climate change and succeeding in the global market can go hand in hand,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Solberg.

The Prime Minister also acknowledged the investment from a bilateral point-of-view.

“Hydro is a leading industrial enterprise in Norway, and a major global aluminium supplier. It is positive for Norway that Hydro is strengthening its international position. And it is positive for Germany that Hydro has decided to invest here, close to the German car industry. This will boost job creation and security in both our countries,” the prime minister added.

A tour of the new production line

After the official unveiling, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Solberg were given a tour of the new production line by Hydro engineer Lutz Kaufmann before they gave a brief statement to the media.

“There are also many concrete ties between our countries, for example gas pipelines and electricity cables connecting southern Norway and northern Germany. By choosing Germany as our strategic partner for new submarines I believe we have further laid a good foundation for the long-term relations in both defense and industrial sector. The Norwegian company Hydro has over the last few years made several strategic investments in Norway and Germany to meet the demand for aluminum in the car industry, and at the same time secure the viability of high competence industrial jobs in both countries. The new automotive line here in Grevenbroich outside Düsseldorf is a prime example of this,” said Prime Minister Solberg.


Updated: May 4, 2017