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Aluminum

Norsk Hydro takes stake in U.S. carbon capture firm Verdox

OSLO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Aluminium producer Norsk Hydro has bought a minority stake in U.S. carbon capture firm Verdox for $20 million and plans to use its technology at smelters as part of wider efforts to cut emissions, the Norwegian company said on Tuesday.

Hydro announced plans last year to slash its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 30% this decade and reach net zero by 2050 at the latest, in line with the 2015 Paris climate accords designed to limit global warming.

“More and more customers are requesting metals produced with a smaller carbon footprint,” said Eivind Kallevik, head of Hydro’s aluminium production division.

“The ultimate goal here is to deliver zero emissions from the production process itself,” he told Reuters.

Hydro said that by applying Verdox technology at existing smelters it would both speed up its decarbonisation and ensure the plants could stay in operation for the long term.

Hydro and Verdox, a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both declined to give the size of the Norwegian company’s stake.

Verdox announced on Feb. 2 that it had secured funding of $80 million as it seeks to move its technology from the laboratory to industrial facilities.

It listed Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which was founded by Bill Gates, as one of the investors but did not disclose at the time that Hydro was also among its sources of funding.

Kallevik said Hydro had evaluated more than 50 carbon capture technologies before settling on the U.S. firm.

A Verdox spokesperson confirmed its collaboration with Hydro but declined to name any of its other industrial partners, citing confidentiality agreements.

Hydro is engaged in metal recycling to cut emissions and is also developing new aluminium production technology with the aim of delivering zero emissions at any future smelters it builds. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by David Clarke)

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