Hydro expands Circal production in the USA

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Hydro invests NOK 150 m at Henderson plant to expand recycled aluminium production and support production of Hydro Circal.

Hydro is investing NOK 150 m (15 m US-Dollar) into its Henderson facility in Kentucky, U.S. to deliver certified recycled aluminium products to the automotive industry. The investment will both enhance Hydro’s position as the leading producer of low-carbon, recycled aluminium in North America and further reduce the environmental impact from production.

As the automotive industry in Kentucky is expanding, the investment will enable the plant to produce industry-leading advanced alloys for automotive applications, including the proprietary advanced material, Hydro Circal, creating an opportunity to supply Hydro’s most progressive, sustainability-focused customers with this cutting-edge product.

Increased volumes of recycled aluminium for automotive applications

The investment will support two key projects. To meet the specifications of the growing U.S. automotive market, Hydro will install a new homogenization furnace to improve the plant’s recycling capabilities. This will enable the Henderson facility to produce a greater volume of advanced alloys using recycled metals with a lower carbon footprint.

“At Hydro we want to accelerate the green transformation of the aluminium and automotive industries by increasing our use of post-consumer scrap to pull more used material into the value chain and promote a circular economy, while also delivering our automotive customers advanced, high strength alloys,” says Trond Gjellesvik, President of Hydro Aluminum Metals in the U.S.“As carmakers continue to make metal substitution decisions, particularly for electric vehicles, our investments allow us to support our forward-leaning customers in reaching their climate ambitions.”

Reduced environmental footprint

Hydro will also install a new baghouse – a state-of the-art dust and gas collector for reducing air emissions. This will allow the plant to use greater volumes of post-consumer scrap and explore new, more difficult types of scrap, like material with paint or other contamination, which requires advanced equipment to recycle. The new baghouse will also improve the air quality inside the plant and reduce the overall environmental footprint from operations. “The first Hydro aluminium recycling plant built in the United States is here in Henderson, where we are pleased to have provided good career opportunities while supporting aluminium recycling throughout the Midwest now for nearly 25 years,” says Seth Augustine, Plant Manager at Henderson.  “With these new investments, we look forward to doing so for the next 25 years and being a growing part of the expanding Kentucky automotive industry,” Augustine says.

Expanding Hydro Circal capabilities

On July 1, the Henderson plant was issued the certificate for production of Hydro Circal. This follows the recent certification of Hydro’s plant in Commerce, Texas earlier this year.

The initial volumes from Hydro’s Commerce and Henderson facilities will be approximately 4000 t. The first large-scale production of Hydro Circal will come from Hydro’s new, state-of-the-art recycling facility under construction in Cassopolis, Michigan. The plant is expected to start operations in 2023 with a total capacity of 130,000 t extrusion billet, of which 40,000 t will be Hydro Circal.

 

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