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Cassopolis’ new recycling plant bringing local jobs, low-carbon aluminum

Global aluminum company Hydro breaks ground on its state-of-the-art aluminum recycling plant in Cassopolis, MI. When completed, the plant will provide 70 new, local jobs, support automotive innovation and be a key stepping-stone in Hydro’s ambition of doubling recycling of post-consumer aluminum by 2025.

Hydro Cassopolis construction start
The groundbreaking ceremony at Cassopolis marks the construction of Hydro’s new state-of-the-art aluminum recycling plant in the U.S. (Photo: Marius Motrøen/Hydro)

Hydro’s President & CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim marked the start of construction on the new aluminum recycling plant Wednesday in Cassopolis, MI. The plant will produce 120,000 metric tonnes (265 million pounds) of aluminum extrusion ingot per year and create approximately 70 local jobs.

Hydro will invest an estimated USD 150 million to complete the project. Applications for the aluminum produced in Cassopolis will include critical automotive applications as well as other transportation uses, consumer and building system applications.

“Aluminum is a key enabler in the green transition. Recycling aluminum scrap reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions whilst promoting a more circular economy. Our plant in Cassopolis will be an example of sustainability and profitability going hand in hand,” says President & CEO, Hilde Merete Aasheim.

Hydro leads in low-carbon recycled aluminum, bringing Hydro CIRCAL to U.S. market

Hydro is positioning itself to become the leading producer of low-carbon, recycled aluminum in North America. Recycling scrap aluminum requires only 5 % of the energy used to produce primary aluminum, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Following completion of the Cassopolis plant, Hydro will have the ability to produce over one million metric tonnes of recycling-based aluminum billet each year in the U.S., further strengthening its position as the largest producer of billet in the country.

Hilde Merete Aasheim, President & CEO of Hydro and Congressman Tim Walberg at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo: Marius Motrøen/Hydro)
Hilde Merete Aasheim, President & CEO of Hydro and Congressman Tim Walberg at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo: Marius Motrøen/Hydro)

Hydro is bringing its next-generation recycling technology, pioneered in Europe, to the plant in Cassopolis.  

“Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to dig deep in the scrap pile and re-create value by bringing low value scrap types back to life as value-added products to demanding customers whilst supporting them in delivering on their sustainability-ambitions,” says Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President in Hydro Aluminium Metal.

The Cassopolis plant will be the first large-scale producer of Hydro CIRCAL 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, several North American customers have expressed interest in Hydro CIRCAL.

Supporting automotive innovation and sustainability

Michigan is home to about 90% of the top 100 automotive suppliers to the U.S. For several years, leading automakers have used aluminum to reduce the weight of combustion-powered vehicles, lowering emissions and increasing performance.

Aluminum will play an even greater role in electric vehicles where its combination of light weight, corrosion resistance, and high strength makes it ideal for structural applications. Hydro has been at the forefront of these efforts, with, for example, recycling-based aluminum alloys developed in partnership between its global R&D center in Norway and its Aluminum Technology Center in Holland, MI, to form key structural elements of the new Rivian R1T.

Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President in Hydro Aluminium Metal, CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim and Hydro's Head of Recycling, Trond Olaf Christophersen.
Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President in Hydro Aluminium Metal, CEO Hilde Merete Aasheim and Hydro's Head of Recycling, Trond Olaf Christophersen. (Photo: Marius Motrøen/Hydro)

“Hydro has been in business for as long as Michigan has been making cars. The automotive industry is where the benefits of lightweight and infinitely recyclable aluminum really can make a difference to consumers looking to reduce transport costs and emissions. We are seeing interest from several aluminum extrusion companies and leading OEMs and look forward to partnering with them to further expand production of automotive products with our new capabilities at Cassopolis,” says Kallevik.

Care and collaboration are at the heart of The Hydro Way

To mark the start of construction of the new plant in Cassopolis, Hydro was joined by guests from local and state government, the Norwegian Embassy to the U.S., industry partners and potential customers. Hydro sponsored a tree planting with the Village of Cassopolis and Cassopolis Public Schools. The company also presented the Cassopolis Public Schools with a donation to support their STEAM program, and provided the Village with new outdoor furniture manufactured from low-carbon recycled Hydro CIRCAL aluminum.

“Hydro strives to be a good neighbor and have a 100-year history of creating value through collaboration with local communities around the world. We have received a warm welcome in Cassopolis and look forward continuing working with the local community to bring stable jobs, career opportunities as well as investing in local education to bring forth the next generation of Hydro employees,” says CEO 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.

About Hydro

Hydro is a leading industrial company that builds businesses and partnerships for a more sustainable future. We develop industries that matter to people and society. Since 1905, Hydro has turned natural resources into valuable products for people and businesses, creating a safe and secure workplace for our 31,000 employees in more than 140 locations and 40 countries.

Hydro is present in a broad range of market segments for aluminum, energy, metal recycling, renewables and batteries, offering a unique wealth of knowledge and competence to our customers and partners. Hydro is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ticker: NHY). 

Contact

kristin-karlstad.jpg

Kristin Karlstad

Head of Communication & Public Affairs, Hydro Aluminium Metal

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