State Minister for Economic Affairs Andreas Pinkwart visits TRIMET

Feb 22, 2018 | The North Rhine-Westphalia State Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization, and Energy Dr. Andreas Pinkwart visited the Essen location of the materials specialist TRIMET Aluminium SE on February 22, 2018. During a tour of the electrolysis plant and the foundry with TRIMET CEO Dr. Martin Iffert, the State Minister gleaned information about aluminium production and processing, as well as the company's contribution to the success of the energy transition. He also witnessed the production of the 6 millionth ton of primary aluminium since the aluminium smelter was commissioned in 1971.

Minister Pinkwart emphasized that the costs of the energy transition should not jeopardize the industry’s competitiveness, and praised TRIMET’s efforts to make the aluminium electrolysis process more flexible. “The project is an outstanding and innovative solution from North Rhine-Westphalia’s energy-intensive industry towards the success of the energy transition,” said Pinkwart.

Iffert stressed the importance of the raw materials industry for North Rhine-Westphalia as a business location: “Aluminium production forms the basis for many areas of industrial value creation. As a family business, we would like to secure both our production sites and our employees’ jobs over the long term. In ensuring that the manufacturing process is more flexible, we are making an important contribution to restructuring the energy supply and thus strengthening this industrial location.”

TRIMET has developed a process that can adapt energy-intensive aluminium production to a fluctuating power supply from wind and solar energy, thereby acting as a large energy storage facility. The company is currently reconfiguring one of three production lines in its Essen aluminium smelter to test the new process on an industrial scale.