Mytilineos’ Metallurgy Business Unit (formerly “Aluminium of Greece”) constitutes the largest vertically integrated alumina and aluminium producer in the European Union.
Primary aluminium is produced via the process of electrolysis, during which massive volumes of electricity are consumed at an extremely constant rate over the course of the entire year (baseload consumption). Indicatively, the Mytilineos smelter consumes roughly 2.8 TWh of electricity annually. Given that the smelting process is fully electrified, CO2 emissions attributable directly to the smelting process (direct emissions) are fairly low, whereas over 80% of the smelter’s carbon footprint is instead attributable to the carbon content of the electricity consumed during the electrolytic process (indirect emissions).
However, renewable energy sourcing remains a massive challenge for aluminium smelters. The requirement for huge volumes of uninterrupted electricity makes it very difficult to cover this demand using carbon-free generation, which tends to be much more variable and unpredictable, creating massive ‘firming costs’ (the cost of taking variable renewable electricity and matching it with a more stable, baseload profile).
Mytilineos commits that by 2030, the entirety of its alumina/aluminium production will be ‘green’, i.e. the electricity consumed will be carbon neutral.
Furthermore, by 2022, an impressive 25% of the company’s output will come from recycled aluminium.
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