aluminum recycling plant under construction in Cassopolis

CASSOPOLIS, Ind. – A new aluminum recycling plant is being built in rural Michigan, and on Friday Gov. Gretchen Whitmer went to see the progress for herself.

“It just shows that we really take economic development in every region of our state seriously,” she said. “And those are good paying jobs, but also aluminum recycling. It’s something our economy depends on doing it this way, creating good jobs, it’s really exciting.

Construction is underway for Hydro Aluminum Metals USA, LLC, and is expected to be completed in late 2023.

Now scrap metal from the automotive and construction industries can find new life in the domestic market.

“Aluminum is infinitely recyclable. So you can take the same metal, remelt it and produce again,” said Trond Gjellesvik, president of Hydro Aluminum Metals, USA.

The new Cassopolis plant will be the second largest of its kind in the United States.

“That’s true in all parts of the state, but I think it’s a unique place where this kind of business can pull scrap metal from Chicago and Detroit,” Whitmer said.

The $150 million plant will produce 265 million pounds of aluminum bars per year. It is the lowest carbon footprint aluminum product in the world, with a footprint of 2.3 kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of aluminum processed, according to Duncan Pitchford, Head of Strategy and Business Development.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our concerns at Hydro,” said Pitchford, “it is the guiding principle of all the business decisions we make today.

The aluminum product will consist of a minimum of 75% post-consumer waste. Pitchford said this supports sustainability and a circular economy.

“Keep this metal out of a landfill, get it back into a new product,” he said.

The new plant will create approximately 70 new long-term jobs.