Cassopolis approves Hydro Aluminum grant application

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — With an international company set to break ground and create local jobs, the economic development and sustainability of Cassopolis is forging ahead in 2022.

The Cassopolis Village council on Monday approved a Community Development Block Grant application for Norway-based Hydro Aluminum’s proposed recycling plant at the Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology Park. The CDBG is a federal grant program administered by The Michigan Economic Development Corporation on behalf of the Michigan Strategic Fund, in order to provide economic development opportunities to smaller communities across the state.

In July 2021, Hydro Aluminum signed a Letter of Intent with landowner Midwest Energy and Communications to build a state-of the-art aluminum recycling plant to Cassopolis, and anticipated creating 70 jobs with construction set to begin this spring.

According to Cassopolis Village Manager Emilie LaGrow, a tentative groundbreaking is already scheduled, and the project is on track.

“Things are moving along,” said Cassopolis Village Manager Emilie LaGrow, adding the village will be asking the state for an early release of funds already granted based on statutory wait times that have already passed. “We hope that will happen and we can keep the ball rolling.”

Once completed, the facility would mark the first large-scale production of Hydro CIRCAL extrusion ingot aluminum in North America. According to the company, Hydro CIRCAL is its brand of premium recycled aluminum made with a minimum of 75 percent recycled, post-consumer aluminum scrap.

“Using recycled aluminum, we drastically reduce energy use in the production phase while still offering high-quality aluminum,” the company said. “The actual content of recycled post-consumer scrap varies, but we guarantee a minimum of 75 percent. … Post-consumer scrap, which has lived a life in a product, allows us to reduce the carbon footprint.”