Following the closing of the agreement, the plant will become Hydro’s fifth fully owned aluminium smelter in Norway. Søral is a primary aluminium plant situated in Husnes at the Norwegian west coast, with an annual production capacity of about 180,000 metric tons primary aluminium.
The plant, which has been operated as a standalone unit, idled one of its two production lines in 2009, and is currently producing around 90,000 tons annually. Søral has 230 employees, and has prior to the agreement been owned by Rio Tinto Alcan (50 percent) and Hydro (49.9 percent).
Søral’s financial situation will be improved through short term relief in costs. With these, and certain system effects of the Hydro ownership, the company sees a more robust financial situation for the plant going forward.
Closing of the transaction is pending, including approval from relevant competition authorities in Norway and France, and is expected in second half of 2014. Until closing of the agreement, Søral will still be governed by the current board of directors. The terms of the agreement are confidential.