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Aurubis Stolberg looks to reopen plant after flooding

Production of semi-finished copper and copper alloy products is to resume at the Aurubis Stolberg plant on 1 November, more than three months after the facility in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia was was crippled by serious flooding in the region.

Manufacturing at the Aurubis subsidiary, which employs 400 people, was so severe the company declared force majeure on 16 July. Following extensive cleaning and repair work, the company is now on a schedule to restart production at Stolberg, saying it will be possible to start manufacturing certain strip products in a limited production capacity starting in early November.

‘The manufacturing start for additional product groups can’t be predicted at the moment because the repairs won’t be completed until a later date,’ a company statement says. ‘Parts of wire manufacturing should also resume production starting in mid-November.’

All of the property damage and damage due to operational failure caused by the flooding have been covered by insurance.

‘We are glad and relieved that due to the strong personal and hands-on efforts of all of our colleagues and external service providers on site, but also thanks to the solidarity and assistance of the entire Aurubis Group, we can resume production so quickly and deliver to our customers again step by step,’ explains Udo Nöbel, head of flat rolled products.

Aurubis Stolberg produces high-precision strip and wire for industrial applications (electrical, electronics, automotive, engineering) from copper products on the global market. In the plant’s own foundry, brass alloys are produced for wire manufacturing, as well as bronze and specialty alloys for pre-rolled strip.

Meanwhile, Aurubis has terminated a year-old memorandum of understanding with Norwegian mine partner Nussir for a supply contract for copper concentrates. Nussir plans to operate the world’s first fully electrified mine with zero CO2 emissions, which suited Aurubis’ sustainability goals. However, the metals processor says ‘certain social aspects of the project need to be given even greater consideration’.

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