What we do

From bauxite to car rims

Our raw material is aluminum oxide, also called alumina, a compound of aluminum and oxygen. It is a grey-white fine-grained sand that we import in triple the amount of the aluminum that we produce. Aluminum oxide is made from bauxite, a red mineral that is commonly found and easily processed in Australia, Guinea, South-America and many places in Europe, and that is named after the French town Le Baux.

Bauxite and aluminum oxide

Our main raw material is aluminum oxide, often known under the name alumina, a compound of aluminum and oxygen. It is a grey-white fine-grained sand that we import in double amount of the aluminum that we produce. Aluminum oxide is made from bauxite, a red mineral commonly found and easily processed in Australia, Guinea, South-America and many places in Europe.

The aluminum oxide is so fine-grained that we can literally vacuum it up from the vessel and to a storage silo and from there all the way to the pot rooms, in a closed system.

Pot Rooms and Rodding Shop

Every pot contains 20 electrodes that are replaced every 30 days. The electrodes are attached to the anode rods in the rodding shop before they are established in the pots. Every new electrode weighs approximately 1200 kilos but gradually dissipates and after use weighs approximately 250 kilos. The electrodes are transported back to the rodding shop where the remains are cleaned from the anode rods, crushed and sent abroad where they are recycled as material for new electrodes. Every new electrode is attached to the anode rod and the process is repeated.

The Casthouse

Every pot produces approximately 1.5 tons of aluminum per day. The aluminum is transported to the casthouse where the metal is collected into furnaces which each can hold 60 tons. When the metal has reached its optimal temperature (720°C) the furnace is raised and the metal poured into casting moulds and moulded into 22 kilo slabs. The slabs are then bound in stacks that weigh approximately a ton and transported in that form to the markets in containers.

Slabs and Alloys

Our main product is pure aluminum that is sold in international markets and used for all kinds of manufacturing. Most aluminum products that we know — cans and various kinds of packaging, construction materials, car rims, bicycles and computer cases — are made from alloys where aluminum is the most dominant ingredient but other metals are combined with the aluminum to make it stronger, increase the carrying capacity, increase or decrease the melting point or create other special characteristics. The most common metals used in alloys are copper, magnesium, manganese, silicon and zinc.

Efficiency — Teamwork — Integrity

Our aim is to be the leading company in our field, show a good example when it comes to safety and environmental matters and be an attractive workplace.

In Grundartangi since 1997

Norðurál in Grundartangi is among the largest aluminum plants in Europe, with an annual production of 317.000 tons and approximately 600 employees. With Norðurál, Icelanders convert a fragment of the country’s power to a 600 million dollar export product while at the same time promoting the use of environmentally friendly energy sources and materials for vehicles, packaging and numerous other things.

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Pure Icelandic value

There’s plenty of clean hydropower and geothermal energy in Iceland. Production of alminum demands a lot of energy as a great deal of power is needed in order to separate aluminum from oxygen in aluminum oxide, which is our raw material.

Very few aluminum plants have access to energy that is as environmentally friendly as ours. We convert clean, Icelandic power to a high quality and valuable export product with a far smaller carbon footprint than almost all  competition can offer.