Hydro Alunorte is the world's largest alumina refinery and has nearly 1,900 permanent employees. Production at Hydro Alunorte started in 1995 and after three expansions now has a total capacity of over six million metric tonnes. Hydro is the main shareholder (91 percent).
Albras is one of the largest aluminium metal smelters in Brazil with 1,200 permanent employees. The company has produced aluminium since 1985 and has an annual production capacity of about 460,000 metric tonnes. Hydro owns 51 percent of this business and the remaining 49 percent is owned by the Nippon Amazon Aluminium Company.
Hydro has aluminium operations in Barcarena in the state of Pará in Brazil. The city has 100,000 inhabitants and many of them have a low education level. The company has cooperated with the municipality in two programs to improve the educational performance in Barcarena.
Since the beginning of its operations, Hydro Alunorte has grown a lot, always investing in the social development of the region of Barcarena.
Social projects focus on income generation and professional training. An example is "Plasticultura", where tubes of heat exchangers discarded from the factory are reused as a structure for assembling better quality greenhouses and providing low cost horticulture.
The company also supports the project of the “Cooperativa de Costura e Moda de Barcarena (Coopermodas)”, where women from the São Francisco community receive professional training in cutting, sewing and management issues.
Combining Brazil’s passion for football, Hydro Alunorte’s aluminium refinery’s education program “Bola pra Frente, Educação pra Gente” has been transforming the lives of the young people living in the Barcarena municipality for over 15 years. The project encourages good school performance through sports practice. The football team of the project, Alunorte Rain Forest (ARF), participates in the annual Norway Cup, one of the largest children's football tournaments in the world. The project involves more than 2,500 students each academic year, through lectures, social and environmental competitions and sports activities.
Through its social programs, Albras encourages education, health, professional qualifications and the opportunity to generate employment and income, to make employees feel more involved and to encourage solidarity.
One of these stand out initiatives is the Family Mechanized Agriculture Program (PAFAM), in which Albras provides farmers with training, technical advice and modern equipment so that through technology and new production methods, their income can be improved. This initiative is being developed in partnership with other institutions, such as Sebrae and Embrapa Amazônia Oriental, and has already benefited more than 1,600 people.
Albras also supports the educational program “Albras Mais Perto de Você – Educação Ambiental” which brings together students from public and private schools in Barcerena to visit the Albras Botanic Garden. The botanical nursery, which is a 38-hectare green area and is home to the third largest collection of palm trees in Brazil, is a great learning space for environment education where students gain knowledge about environmental awareness through play activities and contact with nature.