Alcoa will supply Nexans with low-carbon aluminium from ELYSIS™, a revolutionary process that eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process.
Nexans will be the world’s first cable manufacturer to use metal from the breakthrough ELYSIS™ process, which replaces all greenhouse gas emissions with oxygen. Aluminium rod produced from ELYSIS™ technology will have lower CO2 emissions. The technology uses proprietary materials, including inert anodes, first developed at the Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh. That research and development work became the technological basis for ELYSIS™, a technology partnership working to ramp up the process to commercial scale.
Several Nexans facilities in Western Europe and Scandinavia will use aluminium produced from the ELYSIS™ process to start qualifications for the metal’s use in various types of cables, from low, medium, to high voltage. Aluminium rod produced with this breakthrough ELYSIS™ technology could eliminate a significant portion of carbon dioxide emissions in the future.
This latest announcement further builds on the two companies’ historic long-term relationship. Alcoa already supplies Nexans with EcoLum™, a primary aluminium with a carbon footprint that is nearly three times lower than the industry average. Alcoa’s EcoLum™ primary aluminium is produced with less than 4.0 metric tons of CO2e for every ton of metal, including both direct and indirect (Scope 1 and Scope 2) emissions from mining, refining, smelting and casting. EcoLum’s emissions intensity vs the global average per ton of per ton of CO2e/ton of aluminium is approximately three times better than the global average of 13.3, based on CRU emissions intensity data, 2022.
Since the launch of ELYSIS™ in 2018, the technology company has produced R&D quantities of the metal. Alcoa is marketing and selling its share of the ELYSIS metal, which has also been used for the wheels on the Audi eTron GT, the automaker’s first electric sports car. Apple is also an investor in the technology and has used ELYSIS metal for some of its products.
ELYSIS is a key component in Alcoa’s technology roadmap of research and development projects that also includes projects such as the ASTRAEA™ metal purification process and the Refinery of the Future.
This agreement fully highlights Nexans’ position at the forefront of the sustainable electrification of the world and of crucial issues such as low-carbon emissions.
“Alcoa is well positioned to supply low carbon aluminium for the world’s transition to renewable energy, as we know that the true impact of decarbonisation will also include the choice of materials used to build the infrastructure for generation, transmission and distribution networks. While we are developing ELYSISTM for the future, we are also supplying low-carbon aluminium today with our EcoLumTM metal, which can help customers meet their own sustainability goals and lower their carbon footprints,” said Renato Bacchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Alcoa.
“In the fight against climate change, solutions that support the world’s energy transition make a real difference. By increasing our use of low-carbon aluminium, we want to lead the way toward a sustainable electrification of the world: the rod produced with this breakthrough technology could eliminate a significant portion of carbon dioxide emissions in the future. We are proud to be the world’s first cable manufacturer to use metal from the breakthrough technology ELYSISTM,” added Vincent Dessale, Nexans Chief Operating Officer Senior Executive VP.
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