Investment: Hydro to build recycling plant in Michigan

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Hydro has made the investment decision for the construction of a new aluminium recycling plant in Cassopolis, Michigan.

The investment in the recycling plant aims at the production of 120,000 tpy of aluminium extrusion ingot. Construction is set to start in early Q2 2022, with production commencing in 2023. The plant will have around 70 direct employees.

Recycling plant for the production of low-carbon extrusion ingot

“The Cassopolis greenfield development will mark the first large-scale production of Hydro Circal extrusion ingot in North America. We look forward to bringing this high-quality, low-carbon product to our most demanding customers,” says Eivind Kallevik, executive vice-president of Hydro Aluminium Metal. Circal extrusion ingots contain 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 Al.

With a growing focus on sustainably produced aluminium, a number of North American customers have expressed interest in Circal, says Hydro. Applications will include critical automotive applications and other transport sectors, as well as consumer applications and building systems. In anticipation of the capacity at Cassopolis, Hydro will deliver initial quantities of Circal to US customers from its plant in Commerce, Texas, before the end of 2021.

Investment of USD140m

“The Cassopolis project represents a key stepping-stone toward Hydro’s goal of doubling recycling of post-consumer scrap in its production processes,” says Kallevik. The expected investment is currently estimated to be around USD140m, depending on the final facility design, market conditions and macroeconomic development. By applying technologies developed at the Hydro recycling plants in Clervaux (Luxembourg) and Azuqueca (Spain), Hydro will be able to recycle up to 40,000 tpy of post-consumer scrap at the new facility while delivering high-quality aluminium capable of meeting demanding automotive requirements.

Hydro’s investment will be supported through grants from the US Economic Development Administration, as well as pending state and local incentives, to develop infrastructure in the Smart Park, a planned industrial and commercial development in Cassopolis. Hydro will utilize direct rail service to bring supplies to the plant, helping to lower the overall carbon footprint of its operations, and plans to partner with MEC to source renewable electrical power for the facility.

Investment is subject to the final construction decision, which is expected in the first half of 2022.

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