Hydro Launches Advanced Aluminium Recycling Facility in Michigan

Hydro Launches Advanced Aluminium Recycling Facility in Michigan
The state-of-the-art aluminium recycling plant was officially opened on Thursday, November 16. From left: Emilie LaGrow, Village Manager Cassopolis, Hilde Merete Aasheim, President & CEO Hydro, Dre Kiser, Production Operator, Tyler First, Production Operator, Tore Onshuus Sandvik, State Secretary Labour Party, Jen Nelson, Chief Operating Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President Hydro Aluminium Metal. Dre and Tyler, who have known each other since first grade, are holding a bumper beam for cars made with recycled aluminium. Source: Norsk Hydro

On November 16, Hydro, a leading player in the aluminium industry, marked a significant milestone with the inauguration of its new recycling plant in Cassopolis, Michigan. The plant, which represents an investment of 150 million USD, was completed 18 months after groundbreaking. It is poised to produce an impressive 120,000 metric tons (approximately 132,277 U.S. tons) of recycled aluminium annually.

Hilde Merete Aasheim, President and CEO of Hydro, expressed her enthusiasm for the project, underscoring its strategic importance in a press release.

“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.”

This facility is the third of its kind that Hydro has built in the United States, but it stands out as the first specifically designed to produce Hydro CIRCAL. Hydro CIRCAL is a revolutionary product containing a minimum of 75 percent post-consumer aluminium scrap. Certified by third-party auditors DNV GL, it boasts an exceptionally low CO2 footprint of just 2.3 kg CO2e per kg of aluminium, making it a leader in its market segment.

Targeting primarily the automotive industry, the plant aims to revitalize post-consumer aluminium scrap into high-value products for use in automotive, transport, building, construction, and consumer durables sectors. Initially, the facility will cater to non-automotive customers, with plans to increasingly supply the automotive sector with its extrusion ingot output.

Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President for Hydro Aluminium Metal, highlighted the growing market demand.

“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.”

The strategic decision to locate the plant in Michigan aligns with the region’s deep-rooted automotive history and the industry’s shift towards electric vehicles. Aluminium’s properties, such as strength, toughness, elasticity, and corrosion resistance, along with its lightweight nature, make it an ideal material for lightweighting in vehicles, a crucial factor for both traditional and electric/hybrid vehicle manufacturers.

Aasheim reflected on the company’s long-standing association with the Michigan automotive industry and the exciting prospects this new facility brings.

“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.”

Hydro’s substantial investment in the Cassopolis plant underscores its commitment to advancing sustainable aluminium production and recycling technologies, positioning the company at the forefront of the industry’s evolution.