General tankhouse overhaul: Aurubis invests € 60 million in the Lünen recycling site
Hamburg | Monday, October 19, 2020
- Extensive work planned over three years
- Reliable overall conditions important for investment decisions
- 10 % capacity expansion
At the Aurubis site in Lünen, the work for the second phase of the tankhouse overhaul has started. Aurubis AG is investing a total of € 60 million in the renovation of the facility. The work includes the demolition and reconstruction of the tankhouse basins and other extensive improvements to the production facility. At the end of the overhaul, the capacity of the tankhouse, where the most energy-intensive part of the copper production process takes place, will be expanded by 10 % thanks to an increase in efficiency.
The tankhouse renovation is planned for the next three years. Despite the work, the facility can be operated at 80 % of its original capacity during this period.
“Following the construction of the new training center ATASI, which was inaugurated in March 2019, this investment is Aurubis’ latest clear affirmation of its largest recycling site here in Lünen,” Plant Manager Michael Jordan said. “At the same time, with the capacity expansion, we are strengthening the significance of our plant within Aurubis’ integrated smelter network and contributing to a sustainable circular economy.”
Aurubis AG Executive Board Chairman Roland Harings emphasized that investments of this magnitude require reliable overall conditions:
Aurubis is committed to Germany as an industrial location. We will continue to expand metal recycling as a key contribution to sustainability and the circular economy while enhancing efficiency. This secures raw materials that are necessary for the energy transition. To implement large-scale investments, we need long-term planning security – regulation with foresight – especially when it comes to energy.
The tankhouse is the last step in the copper refining process, in which anodes – plates weighing about 400 kg with a copper content of up to 99.5 % that are recovered by melting down recycling raw materials in multiple steps – are dissolved in an electrochemical process. The copper ions are deposited on steel plates, resulting in copper with 99.99 % purity. The other substances contained in the anode, such as precious metals, are precipitated in this process, separated from each other in the course of additional procedures, and likewise refined in the Aurubis Group network.