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Nearly 7000 Hydro employees in Germany

September 28, 2004, 14:15 CEST

Hydro's President and CEO, Eivind Reiten, presented Hydro's broad range of activities in Germany, when he met Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor of Germany in Oslo. Hydro employs nearly 7000 people in Germany. The country is Hydro's largest and most important market for both aluminium and energy products.

“Electricity is the most important cost element in the production of primary aluminium. Electricity prices in Germany have risen by more than 30 percent in recent years, making it difficult to secure new power contracts at competitive conditions. I know the Chancellor is concerned about this issue,” says Eivind Reiten.

In 2002, Hydro purchased the German aluminium company VAW aluminium AG. This made Hydro the leading aluminium company in Germany and one of the top three integrated aluminium companies in the world.

Hydro’s operations in Germany have a wide span, including automotive components, advanced building systems, lithographic plates for the graphics industry, foil for drinks packaging, semi-manufactured goods and primary aluminium. All the major companies in the German automotive industry are now Hydro customers.

Hydro is also involved in the advanced development of automotive parts in Germany. The company will shortly start up a new production line in the Dillingen plant for a newly developed aluminium engine block for a new series of diesel engines for private cars.

Reiten will also take part in a round-table conference on energy cooperation together with a number of leading German and Norwegian energy companies, arranged in connection with Schröder’s visit. Germany imports around 24 billion cubic metres of gas from Norway. This makes Germany the most important market for Norwegian gas export.

“It’s important for Hydro to further develop the close cooperation we enjoy with German companies and authorities in the energy area,” says Eivind Reiten.

Hydro has a number of other activities in Germany. For example, the company has delivered a hydrogen filling station in Hamburg, and will take part in the opening of another hydrogen filling station in Berlin in the autumn. Hydro is also involved in wind power in Norway and is a major supplier of electricity from its Norwegian hydroelectric power plants.