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Monday, February 26, 2024

‘Worst over’ for Norsk Hydro

Employees and executives at Norsk Hydro could breathe a bit easier this week after a Brazilian court allowed the the large Oslo-based aluminum company to resume full operations at its huge Alunorte plant in Pará. It share price sagged again on Wednesday, however, after shooting up on the court’s news.

Shares were down 3.34 percent Wednesday afternoon, offsetting a 5.6 percent gain on Tuesday but still comfortably ahead for the week. A long-time employee at Alunorte who’d feared losing his job told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) that he and his colleagues “are calmer now. The worst is over.”

It will still take a while before Hydro is back up at full production after being ordered to halt it last year when a storm and flooding resulted in untreated wastewater seeping into a local river. That threatened local water supplies, and Hydro apologized as it faced serious charges of environmental violations.

Hilde Merete Aasheim, who took over this month as Hydro’s new chief executive after Richard Brandtzæg, called the court’s decision on Monday “an important step towards normal production in our strategically important operations in Pará.” She recently warned there’s “no quick fix” to the “situation” in Brazil, though, and that Hydro would have to work hard to win back confidence. staff



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