‘Monumental:’ $100B company set to break ground, plant trees in Cassopolis

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — As cannabis dispensaries celebrate their unofficial holiday this April in Cassopolis, one new business will be planting some greenery of its own during a local event.

Prior to breaking ground as the first business at the Southwest Michigan Advanced Research and Technology in a private ceremony on April 20, Hydro Aluminum will be donating trees for public tree-planting events across the village of Cassopolis as part of a commitment to sustainability. 

According to Village Manager Emilie LaGrow, 20 will be planted at the high school and another 20 at Don Horne Park before the groundbreaking ceremony for its state-of-the-art aluminum recycling plant at 11 a.m. 

Hydro Aluminum – a Norway-based company with over $100 billion in revenue – has long been concerned with sustainability and environmental consciousness, according to its website.

“Hydro is working to protect biodiversity and increase reforestation where we operate,” the company said, on its website page dedicated to sustainability. “Our purpose is still to create a more viable society. As the world is different today, the way for us as a company to fulfill this purpose has radically changed, too. … For Hydro as an industrial company, we know we are part of the problem. But that also makes us part of the solution.” 

In July 2021, Hydro Aluminum signed a Letter of Intent with landowner Midwest Energy and Communications to build the recycling plant. Once completed, the facility would mark the first large-scale production of Hydro CIRCAL extrusion ingot aluminum in North America, creating 70 jobs.  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. 

“It’s exciting to have them breaking ground,” LaGrow said. “We continue to be thankful to all of our partners that have worked with us … It is monumental for the village and for southwest Michigan.”