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Equipment issues hit Hydro’s billet plant

Keywords: Tags  Norsk Hydro, Henderson Ky., remelt, billet, aluminum, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — Norsk Hydro ASA’s remelt billet plant in Henderson, Ky., is sourcing metal from outside suppliers after suffering equipment problems, a company spokesman said.

The Oslo, Norway-based aluminum producer installed new valves early this year for the water cooler and casting pit at Henderson, but the valves "have not performed according to plan," a company spokesman told AMM in e-mails this week.

"We haven’t been able to maintain a 100-percent production pace. For that reason, we’ve had to source some metal from external suppliers in order to serve some of our customer contracts," the spokesman said. He did not disclose the names of the external suppliers.

Hydro is working to fix the problems at the Henderson plant and expects it to be "back in full production soon," he said.

Recent cold weather in the United States did not directly cause the production problems, the spokesman said. "Although the weather has certainly added to the challenges, it has not been the direct cause of the issues."

Hydro’s Henderson remelt billet facility has an annual capacity of 90,000 tonnes, according to the company’s website.

Harsh weather has hit much of the United States this winter, with freezing temperatures—and associated production and logistics disruptions—reaching as far south as the Gulf Coast (, Jan. 29).

Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp. executives said Feb. 19 that the company’s primary aluminum operations in New Madrid, Mo., and its aluminum refinery in Gramercy, La., had been impacted by unusually cold and wet weather (, Feb. 19).

Editor's note: The headline of this story was changed Feb.21 to better reflect that production at Norsk Hydro ASA's billet plant in Henderson, Ky. has been partially impacted by equipment problems. The company has since clarified that the facility is operating at a 90 percent production pace.

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