Lotte Aluminium Materials USA LLC will invest $238.7 million to build an aluminum foil manufacturing operation in Elizabethtown, Ky. The facility, which will create 122 full-time jobs, is expected to begin operation in 2025. The joint venture between Lotte Chemical and Lotte Aluminium will annually produce 36,000 tons of cathode foil, a type of ultra-thin aluminum foil that is a core material used in electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. Cathode foil is one of the four major components of lithium-ion batteries. It supports the cathode active material that determines the capacity and voltage of the secondary battery and, at the same time, serves as a passage for electrons.
Hydro is investing $15 million in its Henderson, Ky., facility to deliver certified recycled aluminum products to the automotive industry and further reduce the environmental impact from production. This investment will enhance Hydro’s position as a leading producer of low-carbon recycled aluminum in North America. The investment will support two key projects. Hydro will install a new homogenization furnace to improve the plant’s capabilities to meet the specifications of the growing U.S. automotive market, enabling Hydro Henderson to produce a greater volume of advanced alloys using recycled metals with a lower carbon footprint.
Steel Dynamics Inc. announced that its Board of Directors authorized the company to construct and operate a 650,000-metric-ton low-carbon, recycled aluminum flat-rolled mill, with two supporting satellite recycled-aluminum slab centers. The capital investment is estimated to be $2.2 billion for the three facilities, and commercial production is planned to begin in the first quarter 2025. The facility will utilize a significant amount of aluminum scrap in its production process supported by the company’s metals recycling platform, which Steel Dynamics says is the largest nonferrous metals recycler in North America.
Alcoa Corp. announced a $51 million project to increase the production capacity at its Mosjøen smelter in Norway by 14,000 metric tons per year (mtpy). Alcoa’s Mosjøen location currently has a nameplate capacity of 200,000 mtpy, and the investment is expected to increase that capacity to 214,000 mtpy by the end of 2026. Amperage to the site’s two potlines will be increased via improved electrical infrastructure, including the installation of new high-voltage cabling and switching equipment. The planned investment will also improve the site’s existing anode production processes. Alcoa also recently announced that its Mosjøen facility is operating an induction furnace that uses renewable energy to melt and recycle scrap aluminum.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that a capital investment group committed to creating over 950 jobs and investing more than $2 billion in the construction of an aluminum-can sheet rolling mill and recycling center in Valencia County, N.M. Manna Capital Partners, a private investment firm, will lead the project and operate the mill. Ball Corp., a provider of recyclable beverage packaging, will enter into a long-term supply agreement and intends to take a minority equity position in the mill. The group signed a letter of intent to purchase a 1,300-acre parcel in Los Lunas. Construction is scheduled to begin by late 2023, and manufacturing in anticipated to start in 2026. The facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 1.3 billion pounds of aluminum annually.
Alcoa Corp. completed a $47 million capital project that is expected to improve stability, increase efficiency and boost production at its Deschambault aluminum smelter in Quebec. The work included the addition of a third electrical transformer to provide more amperage to the smelting pots and enable increased metal production. In addition, upgraded environmental equipment will allow the plant to maintain environmental compliance as it works to increase aluminum production in the coming years.
A third-party critical-reviewed life-cycle assessment (LCA) report shows that the energy and carbon impact of aluminum production in North America has dropped to its lowest point in history. Since 1991, the carbon footprint of primary aluminum production declined by 49%, while the footprint of recycled aluminum production dropped by 60%. During the same time period, the energy needed to produce primary and recycled (or secondary) aluminum has dropped by 27% and 49%, respectively.
The Aluminum Association launched the Choose Aluminum campaign, which includes a digital media ad buy, videos with workers and aluminum leaders, a new sustainability website and additional material highlighting the sustainable properties of the 100% recyclable metal. The campaign describes how aluminum is providing sustainable solutions in the areas of recycling, automotive production, building and construction more. It also tracks how the North American aluminum industry has reduced its carbon footprint by more than half over the last 30 years. The U.S. aluminum industry supports nearly 660,000 jobs and has invested over $3 billion in U.S. manufacturing over the past decade.
Alcoa Corp. unveiled a technology roadmap to support the company’s vision to reinvent the aluminum industry for a sustainable future. The technologies in Alcoa’s roadmap, including a proprietary post-consumer scrap-recycling process, have the potential to decarbonize a significant portion of the upstream aluminum supply chain. The roadmap includes three key programs: the Refinery of the Future, the ASTRAEA metal purification process and ELYSIS joint-venture technology.
Precision Impacts, a subsidiary of Gayston Corp., will add a new production line to its 180,000-square-foot Miamisburg, Ohio, operations, according to a report. The $1.7 million expansion will create 41 new jobs and allow the aluminum assembly manufacturer to produce a seamless aluminum cylinder that customers can use at home to fill balloons with helium. The manufacturing process includes fabrication, heat treatment, machining, assembly, testing, finishing and packaging.