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Norsk Hydro

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Norsk Hydro ASA is a Norwegian oil and energy and integrated aluminium company, headquartered in Oslo. The company was founded on December 2, 1905 by Sam Eyde, exploiting a novel technology for producing artificial fertilizers by fixing nitrogen from air. The technology had been developed by the Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland. Hydro's first factory was built at Notodden followed up with another at Rjukan, Tinn.

Hydro's fertilizer business was spun off as a separately stock-listed company under the name of Yara on March 26 2004. Hydro distributed all its Yara shares to Hydro's shareholders and presently has no ownership in Yara.

Hydro presently has two core businesses, Oil & Energy and Aluminium. The company is the second largest oil and gas operator on the Norwegian continental shelf and the third largest integrated aluminium company world wide. In 1999 Hydro acquired another Norwegian oil and gas company Saga Petroleum, and in 2002 Hydro acquired the leading German aluminium producer VAW from the German utility company E.on. Hydro has operations in some 40 countries around the world and is active on all continents. The Norwegian state holds a 43.8 percent ownership interest in the company. There are total of around 36,000 employees. From 2001, Eivind Reiten has been the CEO.

In May, 2005, Norsk Hydro AS became a major backer of a Portuguese wave-farming project to produce electricity from wave power. The project will use Pelamis P-750 Wave Energy Converters developed by Ocean Power Delivery to produce an estimated 2.25 megawatts of renewable energy in the subsequent year.

During the Second World War the Rjukan plant was the only location in Europe which produced heavy water, and consequently was the target of several commando and air raids which eventually resulted in the plant's destruction and later reconstruction. (This story was portrayed in the Kirk Douglas movie The Heroes of Telemark).

External links

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