“The pandemic put us all to the test last year. Yet, Hydro managed an extraordinary 2020 carefully, emerging stronger and well positioned to deliver on our agenda to become a profitable and more sustainable industry leader,” President and CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim writes in her letter to shareholders.
“I’m grateful and impressed by how our organization kept the wheels turning, delivering on the improvement ambitions and positioning Hydro for the future, while always putting health and safety first,” she adds.
Aasheim points to significant progress toward Hydro’s ambition to lift profitability and drive sustainability.
“We have accelerated our improvement efforts in 2020. Our extended program targets NOK 8.5 billion by 2025 across all business areas and staffs. I am happy that we exceeded our improvement target and achieved savings of NOK 4.2 billion for 2020, amounting to about half of the overall 2025 ambition.
“This March we reached another milestone with the finalization of the strategic review of the Rolling business and with a conclusion to sell the business to the U.S.-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners. The agreement marks another step toward making Hydro a profitable and more sustainable industry leader – to the benefit of our employees, our customers and our shareholders,” Aasheim continues.
Among other milestones, Aasheim points to the successful verification of the Karmøy Technology Pilot in Norway in 2020, producing primary aluminium with 15 percent lower specific energy consumption and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions compared with the world average. Many of the same technology elements were implemented in the upgrade at the Husnes aluminium plant in Norway, which is ramping up to full capacity after running at half capacity since the financial crisis in 2009. Hydro also sees promising traction in the market for the low-carbon aluminium brand Hydro REDUXA and the Hydro CIRCAL brand produced with a minimum of 75 percent post-consumer scrap.
“On social responsibility we are progressing in our work to strengthen local community relations, communities and business partners through education and empowerment where we operate. We have high expectations to our pioneer tailings dry-backfill method at our Paragominas bauxite mine in Brazil, that will eliminate the need to establish new tailing dams,” Aasheim says.
“We take inspiration from our ability to mobilize as we face another important transformation: The green transition. In 2020, we established a new strategic direction toward 2025, building on our profitability and sustainability agenda. We will pursue our strategic ambition by capturing opportunities where our capabilities match the global megatrends such as sustainability, electrification and urbanization.
“The two pillars of our strategic agenda are about strengthening our position in low-carbon aluminium, while exploring new growth opportunities in areas such as recycling, renewable energy and batteries. This is how we will create value going forward.
“As a global energy and aluminium company, Hydro is committed to leading the way by creating more for less. With a new strategic direction, we embark on the next chapter in Hydro’s history of building industries that matter and creating value by taking a lead role in the green transition, producing products and solutions for the low-carbon, circular economy,” says Aasheim.
The report, meeting the Norwegian statutory requirements for annual reporting, is “Financial Statements and Board of Directors’ Report – 2020.” This report is available in Norwegian and English.
In addition, a more extensive report is available, “Annual Report – 2020,” with detailed information about Hydro’s businesses, operational performance, financial performance, viability performance, corporate governance, environmental, social and financial statements. The report is available in English.