Cleaner Norwegian aluminium production

The emission of greenhouse gases from aluminium production in Norway has fallen by 62 percent from 1990 to 2005. This reduction makes Norwegian aluminium production the world's most environmentally friendly, according to the Federation of Norwegian Industries.

The Norwegian aluminium industry entered into an agreement with the Ministry of the Environment in 1997. This agreement combined with emission reductions dating back to 1990, has been beneficial for the Norwegian environment.

"The agreement that the industry entered into with former Minister of the Environment Thorbjørn Berntsen in 1997 was unique, and the results have surpassed all expectations," said the director of the Federation of Norwegian Industries (NI) Stein Lier-Hansen about the voluntary plan between the state and the industry.

The agreement set goals to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases per produced ton of aluminium in Norway by 50 percent before 2000, and by 55 percent before 2005. These goals were met with good margins, and statistics from the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority show that the 2005 emissions were 62 percent below the levels from 1990 (the Kyoto Protocol uses 1990 as the basis year, NI follows this model), according to the Federation of Norwegian Industries.

The total emissions of CO2, CF4 and C2F6 were reduced by 39 percent in the same period, while the production of aluminium rose by 61 percent. With this increase in production, the CO2-emissions would be 4.7 million tons more today with 1990 emission levels.

The decrease, according to NI, is caused by restructuring and improving the production process. The emissions of CF4 and C2F6, which are extremely dangerous to the environment, have been greatly reduced.

"These improvements ensure that Norway has the world's cleanest production of aluminium. In addition, there are the effects of Norwegian electricity being 100 percent pure water power. Power is the most important input factor during the production of aluminium," Lier-Hansen said. 

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The aluminium production in Norway is the world's cleanest, according to the Federation of Norwegian Industires.Photo: Hydro