hydro circal aluminum
Hydro intends to produce recycled-content Circal ingots at its proposed facility in Michigan.
Photo courtesy of Norsk Hydro ASA

Hydro to build ingot plant in Michigan

European company signs letter of intent to build 120,000-ton-per-year facility in western Michigan.

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The Hydro Aluminium Metal business unit of Norway-based Norsk Hydro ASA has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire land in Cassopolis, Michigan, to build what it calls a “state-of-the-art aluminum recycling plant” that will produce aluminum extrusion ingot.

The planned facility in Cassopolis, which is about 45 miles southwest of Kalamazoo, Michigan, represents “a key step in [Hydro’s] ambition of doubling its recycling of postconsumer aluminum by 2025,” the company says. The aluminum produced will be used in automotive and other transportation applications and for building products.

The LOI between Hydro Aluminium Metal and landowner Midwest Energy and Communications is based on Hydro’s intention to build a facility in Cassopolis that can produce 120,000 metric tons per year starting in 2023.

Hydro estimates it will cost about $120 million to build the plant, which will employ approximately 70 people.

The Cassopolis greenfield development will mark the first large-scale production of Hydro Circal extrusion ingot in North America, the company says. “Unique to Hydro, Circal extrusion ingot contains at least 75 percent postconsumer scrap certified by third-party auditors” and has a “market-leading” low CO2 footprint, according to the firm.

The Michigan plant will use technology pioneered by Hydro at its facilities in Luxembourg and Spain. It will have access to direct rail service, according to Hydro, and the company will attempt to source renewable electrical power for the facility.

Hydro says it “aims to make a final investment decision” on the planned greenfield development in Michigan before the end of 2021.