In the future, Aurubis’ plant in Hamburg will use hydrogen instead of natural gas for the reduction process in its anode furnaces. The multi-metal and recycling specialist is investing around €40 million to make this vision a reality.
The company already states that it can produce copper with less than half the average carbon footprint worldwide. As part of the Science Based Targets initiative, Aurubis has also set itself the ambitious goal of reducing its scope 1 and scope 2 CO₂ emissions by 50% by 2030. Implementing the new technology and undertaking a complete switch to hydrogen will enable the business to cut down on around 5,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions every year.
The new anode furnaces will play a valuable role in decarbonising production even before a sufficient supply of hydrogen is available. They will work much more efficiently, consuming around 30% less natural gas. This translates into significant potential in terms of reducing emissions – to the tune of almost 1,200 tonnes of CO₂ per year. In addition, the new furnace technology will increase flexibility when it comes to process management, making it possible to process more complex copper concentrates than the existing systems, allowing more valuable raw materials to be obtained. The anode furnace upgrades will be carried out as scheduled during the plant’s regular maintenance shutdown in spring 2024.