USA - Hydro to relocate technology center to Cassopolis

A new local company will be expanding its footprint in Cassopolis.

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Hydro, an aluminum recycling plant finishing up construction of its state-of-the-art facility at the Midwest Energy and Communications SMART Park, in Cassopolis, announced its plans to relocate its technology center from Zeeland, Michigan to Cassopolis and expand it.  The expanded technology center will be located next to the recycling plant in an effort to strengthen and increase Hydro’s capabilities to deliver innovative aluminum products to Hydro’s customers in automotive, transportation, consumer products and building systems.

“Our technical resources in Michigan and Norway have been a key factor in our success and growth in the United States for the past years. With the relocation of our best in class technology center to Cassopolis, we are putting ourselves in a much stronger position to deliver on our future growth plans in Cassopolis, Michigan and in the United States,” said Stig Tjøtta, Head of Commercial Technology in Hydro Aluminium Metal.  

With the expansion and relocation project, Hydro can continue to meet the growing demand for low-carbon aluminum products in the U.S. with appropriate technical resources, combined with the state-of-the-art recycling operation Hydro is building right now. The relocation project cost is expected to be approximately $3.7 million and is expected to be finalized by early 2024.

 As part of Hydro’s global network of laboratories and Research & Development centers, the Hydro Aluminum Technology Center in Michigan provides critical performance testing data to support Hydro’s production facilities and customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico in offering high performance aluminum products into demanding end markets such as automotive.

Accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, HATC serves as the only testing laboratory in the Hydro system capable of providing third-party certified testing for strength, corrosion resistance, and other aspects of aluminum performance.  In addition to HATC, Hydro also operates a technology center in Troy, Michigan supporting Hydro’s extrusion plants throughout North America.

Increasing and strengthening capabilities  The new, expanded Hydro Aluminum Technology Center of Excellence will reportedly have state-of-the-art lab and technological equipment, improved workspaces and will allow for hiring additional resources beyond those at HATC today. Additionally, the new center will permanently host personnel from Hydro’s internal Research and Development team and the global Technology and Operational Support team.

The technology center and the recycling plant will be connected by sharing the same administration building, and will lead to closer collaboration between the operators, engineers, technical and R&D personnel. This will not only benefit Cassopolis, but also Hydro’s recycling plants in Henderson, KY and Commerce, TX.

“These enhanced technical capabilities, co-located with our new state-of-the-art recycling plant in Cassopolis, strengthen the framework for Hydro to continue our recycling growth in the U.S.” stated Ingrid Heradstveit Guddal, Head of Recycling for Hydro Aluminum Metal.

In total, Hydro Aluminum Metal will expand its North American portfolio to more than 500,000 tons of aluminum extrusion ingots when the Cassopolis plant reaches full operation. The expanded capacity will include significant volumes of Hydro’s proprietary HyCrushTM and HyBeamTM automotive alloys.  Cassopolis will also utilize Hycast’s proprietary LPC casting technology to enhance capabilities toward this end market.