Maintenance shutdown at Aurubis plant in Hamburg completed successfully
Hamburg | Tuesday, June 28, 2022
- Investment of about € 72 million in sustainable copper and metal production
- Fit for the future: more than 480 maintenance and environmental protection measures implemented in 56 days
- Focus on health and safety: consistent implementation of occupational safety rules
The planned maintenance shutdown at the Hamburg Aurubis plant was successfully completed today. Aurubis carried out a total of 480 technical renovations and maintenance measures throughout the smelter, as well as taking action to improve the site’s environmental protection. In addition to inspecting the waste heat boiler, the multimetal company renovated the plant’s highest forge, which stretches up to 135 meters, installed two new metallurgical cranes and replaced heat exchangers in the contact plant – the latter of which was done in preparation for the second expansion stage of industrial heat extraction project to supply up to 20,000 households in Hamburg with CO2-free industrial heat as early as 2024.
Highest expectations for quality of work
With this shutdown, we have invested a total of € 72 million in the increased effectiveness of our production facilities and the further improvement of the site’s environmental protection – € 59 million in just this year
, explains Aurubis Chief Operating Officer (COO) Heiko Arnold. The shutdown lasted a total of 56 days, 11 days longer than originally planned. Unfavorable weather conditions, which delayed certain crane operations due to high winds, and necessary additional work that could only be identified after operations were shut down, led to the longer maintenance time. “When it comes to the quality and safety of our maintenance work and production facilities, we don’t make any compromises. We put great value on the flawless execution of all this work, so we took more time to complete it in order to now be able to safely and reliably return to production,” emphasizes Heiko Arnold.
Although the extra shutdown days have an impact on earnings, they do not change the current year’s forecast for operating earnings before taxes (EBT). The multimetal company continues to expect an operating EBT between € 500 and 600 million.
Occupational safety always top priority
The execution of the maintenance shutdown is a large-scale logistical and technical project, the planning for which began immediately following the last large-scale shutdown in 2019. On the busiest days, up to 2,000 employees were working on the project on plant premises, 1,500 of whom were employees of partner companies, suppliers and service providers. Just like during regular operations, occupational health and safety were the top priority in this complex large-scale project. “We succeeded in consistently implementing compliance with occupational safety rules for all employees,” explains Axel Brand, Production Manager at Aurubis. “Our standard is and remains to have zero accidents and injuries in regular operations and also during such a large-scale project.”
Scheduled maintenance shutdowns are carried out in many large industrial plants, including at other international Aurubis production sites. Aurubis was also prepared for this year’s shutdown at the Hamburg plant: Customers were supplied the entire time, because enough anodes were reserved to be able to fill the tankhouse and produce high-purity copper cathodes. This ensured that the production facilities for Rod and Shapes also had sufficient input material to serve all customers.
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