Hydro marks the construction start of its state-of-the-art aluminum recycling plant in Cassopolis, Michigan. The plant will produce 120,000 metric tons recycled aluminium annually.
The groundbreaking ceremony this week marks the construction of Hydro’s new state-of-the-art aluminum recycling plant in the U.S. Production will commence in 2023 with approximately 70 employees. When ramped up to full production, the plant will produce 120,000 metric tons of low-carbon aluminum extrusion ingot per year. The expected investment is USD 150 million.
The Cassopolis recycling plant in Michigan will strengthen Hydro’s ability to supply car makers and other industries in the U.S. with recycled aluminum.
Aluminum brings lighter vehicles and new jobs
Aluminum is a strong, tough and elastic material thanks to its low density and light weight. Light-weighting has long been a focus in the automotive industry, as light weight means less fuel consumption in gas and diesel vehicles. Aluminum also plays a significant role in the light-weighting of electric and hybrid vehicles, which then need less electricity and fewer or smaller batteries to travel the same distances.
“Hydro has been in business for as long as Michigan has been making cars, and this is where our infinitely recyclable aluminum really comes to life. With manufacturers switching to electric vehicles, combined with the growing need for aluminum, we see this as an opportunity to bring next-generation aluminum recycling technology that we pioneer in Europe – to the U.S.,” says President and CEO, Hilde Merete Asheim.
While electric vehicles are now a small percentage of the overall market, amounting to less than 3% of U.S. new auto sales last year, forecasters expect big increases in the next decade.
First large-scale production of Hydro CIRCAL in the U.S.
The Cassopolis greenfield development will mark the first large-scale production of low-carbon Hydro CIRCAL extrusion ingot in North America.
Unique to Hydro, Hydro CIRCAL aluminum extrusion ingot contains at least 75% post-consumer scrap, certified by third-party auditors DNV GL, and has a market-leading CO2 footprint of just 2.3 kg CO2e/kg aluminum. With a growing focus on sustainably produced aluminum, a number of North American customers have expressed interest in Hydro CIRCAL.
Applications for Hydro CIRCAL will include critical automotive applications and other transportation sectors, consumer applications and building systems. In anticipation of the upcoming capacity at Cassopolis, Hydro has delivered initial quantities of Hydro CIRCAL to U.S. customers from its plant in Commerce, Texas, since 2021.
“The Cassopolis project represents a key stepping-stone toward Hydro’s goal of doubling recycling of post-consumer scrap in its production processes, and will bring more low-carbon aluminum to our American customers,” says Aasheim.
Top image from left: Emilie LaGrow, Village Manager, Village of Cassopolis, Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President Hydro Aluminium Metal, Hilde Merete Aasheim, President & CEO, Charles «Chuck» Johnson, President of US Aluminum Association, Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, Norwegian ambassador to the United States, Congressman Tim Walberg, Bob Hance, Midwest Energy & Communications President & CEO and David Johnson, President, Village of Cassopolis.