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Corporate management changes

January 8, 2002, 00:00 CET

Alexandra Bech, Hydro's senior vice president of human resources, will join corporate management as executive vice president beginning Jan. 15, the first woman to do so.

Bech, 36, will also have responsibility for Health, Environment and Safety, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Procurement and Information Systems.

In light of Hydro's acquisition of VAW, Germany becomes Hydro's largest market and, next to Norway, the country with the largest concentration of operational activities. Other changes in Hydro's corporate management structure will also take place.

Leiv L. Nergaard has been appointed President of Hydro's holding companies in Germany, including those formed to accommodate the VAW acquisition, reporting to Eivind Reiten, effective March 1, 2002. Nergaard will focus on optimizing Hydro's corporate presence in Germany and the European Union following the integration of VAW. Hydro's holding companies in the EU will continue reporting to Nergaard. He is presently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

John O. Ottestad will join the Corporate Management Board as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective March 1, 2002. The Corporate Strategy Team, Finance, Tax, Investor Relations, Mergers & Acquisitions and Accounting staffs will report to Ottestad, as will the Petrochemicals, Pronova and Hydro Business Partner divisions. Ottestad presently heads up Mergers & Acquisitions.

Thor Håkstad was recently nominated to the board of the Swiss company Sulzer Ltd. and intends to continue building up a portfolio of external consultancy and board engagements. He will subsequently relinquish his follow up responsibilities for the Petrochemicals and Pronova divisions, but continue to lead ownership restructuring efforts for the Petrochemical division, reporting to John Ottestad. Håkstad is presently Executive Vice President, Chairman of the Board for Petrochemical Division and Hydro Pronova a.s.

Wenche Agerup has been appointed head of the Mergers & Acquisitions staff, effective March 1, 2002, reporting to John Ottestad. Agerup recently joined the Mergers & Acquisitions staff from her previous position as lawyer in the Legal Department.