Hydro expands its European extrusion capacity to the growing electric car market with a EUR 35.7 million investment in a new high strength press at its plant in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.
The new press will be part of Hydro’s automotive network, which includes the automotive press investment in Denmark announced earlier this year.
“This network of specialized plants offers a unique selling point towards car manufacturers with large volumes, allowing supply from several locations. Together, with the new press in Tønder, Denmark and our existing P5 press in Hungary, this new investment will give Hydro unmatched capabilities to supply the automotive market anywhere in Europe with the best available technology and a balanced footprint,” says Bruno D’hondt, Senior Vice President in Hydro’s Extrusion Europe business unit.
The automotive market growth is driven by electrification, with increasing demand for extruded aluminium profiles for electrical vehicle applications, weight mitigation and crash properties. It is expected that around half of the new cars built in Europe by 2029 will be electric.
The new press will be installed in an existing building and will mainly use billets from the new recycling plant which is under construction. The first extrusion is planned for 2025.
The Szekesfehervar plant employs around 1,600 people and is the biggest extrusion plant of its kind in Europe. The plant has a strong automotive culture and an organization that is geared towards serving the high demands of the automotive sector. With six aluminium extrusion presses, several surface treatment technologies, over 300 fabrication machines and a recycling facility under construction, the plant is taking the lead on Hydro Extrusions’ automotive strategy.
The automotive components Hydro manufactures in Szekesfehervar include crash management systems, such as bumper beams and crash boxes, as well as structural parts of the car body and battery housings.
The Hungarian plant is a selected original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner, developing new aluminium high tech products for the fast developing electrical vehicle market. The new investment will significantly increase its capacity for further growth in supplying new generation battery housings and e-mobility projects.
The new press will be a copy of the successful P60/12-inch press line in Hungary, upgraded to the most advanced and efficient technologies on the market to minimize the carbon footprint of the process.
In September, Hydro broke ground for a new aluminium recycling plant alongside the plant, which will produce advanced, closed loop recycled aluminium for automotive extrusions. This will help to reduce the carbon footprint of customer’s products.
During the closed loop recycle process the production scrap is collected and sent directly back to the recycling plant from manufacturers, where it is melted and cast into extrusion ingots, so it can return as input material for advanced car components.
The recycling plant will supply the new automotive press and handle the process scrap coming from its production.