Norsk Commerce Facility
Photo courtesy of Norsk Hydro

Hydro plant in Commerce, Texas, certified to produce Hydro Circal

The company says the initial annual production of Hydro Circal is expected to be around 4,000 metric tons.

Norsk Hydro, an aluminum manufacturing company based in Oslo, Norway, has announced its aluminum plant in Commerce, Texas, has been certified by DNV, an independent risk management and quality assurance company based in Oslo, to produce Hydro Circal. This is the company’s first facility in the U.S. to achieve this certification.  

According to a news release, Hydro Circal is a low-carbon recycled aluminum product containing at least 75 percent postconsumer end-of-life scrap.  

“With auto manufacturers switching to electric vehicles, combined with the growing need for aluminum, we see this as an opportunity to bring large-scale production of Hydro Circal,” says Trond Gjellesvik, president of Hydro Aluminum Metals, North America. “We help forward-leaning customers reach their climate ambitions by delivering products with a lower carbon footprint that promote a more circular economy.”  

By adding capabilities to produce Hydro Circal, Hydro will be able to supply more automotive, transportation and other extrusion ingot customers with certified low-carbon aluminum. The initial annual production of Hydro Circal is expected to be around 4,000 metric tons. The independent DNV-GL issued the certificate for production in May.    

“We are seeing interest from several aluminum extrusion companies and leading original equipment manufacturers and look forward to partnering with them to further expand production of automotive products with Hydro Circal at Commerce.  This is a great recognition of the work being done by the team at Commerce and in North America,” says Dan Luckett, plant manager at Hydro Commerce. “We have been able to learn from the pioneering steps taken by Hydro to produce Circal at our plant at Deeside in the U.K. and successfully implement that here in the U.S.”  

Hydro says recycling scrap aluminum requires 5 percent of the energy used to produce primary aluminum, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hydro has set a 2025 strategic ambition to double its recycling of postconsumer scrap as it significantly reduces the CO2 footprint compared to preconsumer/process scrap as well as primary aluminum.   

Recently, Hydro has made progress in reducing its emissions through doubling its use of postconsumer scrap by 2025. The company’s Extrusion North America division is upgrading recycling capabilities at its site in The Dalles, Oregon, allowing it to process an additional 10,000 metric tons, or 11,023 short tons, of postconsumer scrap annually and to increase overall recycled aluminum output by 27,000 metric tons, or nearly 30,000 short tons. This upgrade also will reduce energy consumption and result in lower CO2 emissions and metal costs at the site, according to the company.

In April, Hydro began construction of its aluminum recycling plant in Cassopolis, Michigan. Production will commence in 2023 with about 70 employees. When ramped up to full production, the plant will produce 120,000 metric tons of recycled aluminum extrusion ingot per year.  Following the completion of the Cassopolis plant, Hydro will have the ability to produce more than 1 million metric tons of recycling-based aluminum extrusion ingot each year in the U.S.