LONDON (Reuters) – Producers of “green” aluminum – made using renewable energy rather than fossil fuels – are starting to charge premium prices thanks to rising demand from industrial customers under pressure to reduce their carbon footprints.
Operators of smelters powered by hydro-electricity in the likes of Norway, Russia and Canada are promoting their environmental credentials – and stealing a march on others that rely on coal or gas, notably in China and the Gulf.
The competitive edge lies not in the metal itself, but the fact that its production requires far lower total emissions of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. While they do not use the term “green” aluminum, a number of producers are offering low-carbon guarantees on their metal, although they refuse to say how much more they charge for this beyond saying the premiums are relatively modest.
Those with access to large hydro-power capacity such as Norway’s Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL), U.S.-based Alcoa (AA.N), Russia’s Rusal (0486.HK) and London-listed Rio Tinto (RIO.L) believe the tide is turning in their favor.
Nearly 200 countries have agreed to set targets for limiting CO2 emissions under the Paris climate accord on curbing global warming, although President Donald Trump has decided to pull the United States out of the pact.
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