“With the U.S. experiencing a manufacturing renaissance, this is a great day for Cassopolis, Michigan and for Hydro. This project is a key part of our strategy to double the production of our market leading recycled products and to bring more low-carbon aluminium to our American partners,” says President and CEO, Hilde Merete Aasheim.
Hydro expects to produce 120,000 metric tonnes of aluminium extrusion ingot per year at the site. It is the third greenfield recycling plant the company has built in the United States, but the first designed to produce Hydro CIRCAL.
Hydro CIRCAL contains at least 75 percent post-consumer aluminium scrap, certified by third-party auditors DNV GL, and has a market leading CO2 footprint of just 2.3 kg CO2e per kg aluminium or less.
Recycled and low-carbon aluminium for automotive applications
The recycling plant will bring more post-consumer aluminium scrap back to life as value added products in the automotive, transport, building and construction, and the consumer durables markets.
The plant will make its initial deliveries to non-automotive customers, once qualification trials are completed, the automotive industry will be the destination for more and more of the extrusion ingot produced in Cassopolis.
“The demand for sustainably produced aluminium has been growing rapidly within virtually all of our market segments, and among carmakers in particular, so we see this as a perfect time to introduce Hydro CIRCAL in larger volumes than before. And it is only the beginning,” says Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President for Hydro Aluminium Metal.
In anticipation of the production at Cassopolis, Hydro has been delivering quantities of Hydro CIRCAL to U.S. customers from its plants in Commerce, Texas, and Henderson, Kentucky, for the past year and a half.
Aluminium for lighter electric and hybrid vehicles
Aluminium is a strong, tough and elastic material, but also corrosion resistant and light weight, making it a natural choice for automakers. Lightweighting has long been a focus in that industry, as light weight means less fuel consumption in gas and diesel vehicles. The metal also plays a significant role in the lightweighting of electric and hybrid vehicles, which tend to be heavier than cars with internal combustion engines due to the weight of the batteries.
“We have been in business for as long as Michigan has been making cars, and with manufacturers switching to electric vehicles, together with the growing demand for aluminium in other applications, we are excited about bringing our next generation recycling technology here in Michigan, to the U.S.,” says Aasheim.
Hydro invested approximately USD 150 million in the new plant.