Locations -- Commerce, Texas
Hydro Aluminum North America's decision to locate in Texas enables it to better serve the southwestern U.S. aluminum market.
Hydro Aluminum North America, a unit of Norway's Norsk Hydro ASA, is building a $37 million aluminum remelting plant in Commerce, Texas. Production is slated to start in December 2002. The plant will have the capacity to produce 90,000 metric tons of primary quality aluminum billet from scrap. Automakers and other manufacturers in transportation industries, and well as the construction industry, are expected to be customers. Corporate Strategy
Norsk Hydro, a diversified manufacturer, has been steadily increasing its aluminum production in the U.S. and in January established the Hydro Aluminum North America unit. The unit will offer several services including metal sourcing, production of aluminum billet, extrusion, and contract manufacturing. The Commerce plant will be one of three Hydro U.S. remelt plants. The others are in Henderson, Ky., and Monett, Mo. The company says the Commerce location will enable it to better serve the southwestern U.S. aluminum market. The company's current annual remelting capacity in the U.S. is more than 175,000 metric tons. Hydro could gain three more remelt plants in the U.S., as well as three extrusion and two fabrication plants, if approvals for the parent company's acquisition of Germany's VAW Aluminum AG come through. Production Strategy
The plant will recycle aluminum scrap from manufacturers and return it in the form of primary quality billet that can be reintroduced into production processes, says Jim Walters, senior vice president, metal products, for Hydro Aluminum North America. Walters says Hydro is expanding aluminum remelt capacity in the U.S. because the company has pegged it as a growth market. "There's much more emphasis on recycling," Walters says. "We saw an opportunity that the current [market] couldn't support." Norsk Hydro has seven aluminum remelt plants in Europe that the company claims are highly successful. It plans to duplicate the European model in the U.S. Community
Commerce, in northern Texas, is home to Texas A&M University and about an hour's drive from Dallas. Its slogan is, "A great place to live, work, and play." Economic development and incentive programs are available through the Texas Department of Economic Development and include financial incentives and job training reimbursement programs. Walters says Hydro received both local and state economic development grants, and the local economic development authority helped the company secure land for the plant. He says the community offers a plentiful labor pool for the estimated 50 job openings at the plant, and he expects Texas A&M to be beneficial in terms of training. Located in the center of Commerce, The Square is a popular spot for the town's 8,000 residents, featuring antique shops, a coffee shop, restaurants, retail and service shops. Locations profiles selected siting and facility strategies by manufacturing companies. Send submissions for Locations to Senior Editor John S. McClenahen at [email protected]