Georgiathe biggest single ever German the investment becomes even greater.
Aurubis SA, Hamburga company based in the company opens a processing plant Augusta by 2024 has announced a second phase that will significantly increase planned spending, create 80 more jobs and double the output of raw copper, which is used as a raw material in many key industries.
– said Auroubis last November that it will invest 300 million euros (about $340 million at the time) and employ 125 people in the first phase of the new site, where most of the infrastructure work was completed after the groundbreaking in June.
The company announced on Wednesday that it will add another 250 million euros (about $264.5 million) and increase the total number of jobs as demand exceeds forecasts when the project was conceived 18 months ago. Aurubis’ board of directors also advanced another €90 million to adjust for higher-than-expected construction costs.
When all is said and done, Aurubis will invest €640 million (about $679 million) and employ 200 people at the Richmond County site.
General director Roland Harings told Global Atlanta It said in a phone call that because Aurubis produces raw metals, not finished products, the expansion was not directly aimed at qualifying for benefits under the Inflation Reduction Act, the climate bill that spurred a flood of major investments in renewable energy and electricity. automotive battery sectors.
But even more domestic production of copper and other metals will be important to strengthen supply chains and help those companies get federal tax breaks, he said, further bolstering the case for Aurubis’ decision to expand into the U.S. market.
“The world needs metals like copper that can be recycled without loss of quality or performance for our cars, mobile phones, batteries, cables and computers,” Mr Harings said in a press release. “Today’s high demand for recycling cannot be met by existing capacity. Our increased commitment to the US will be a game-changer – for the environment, for manufacturers and for the broader transition to a renewable economy.”
In one Augusta, Japanese supplier of copper foil Denkai announced a $400 million investment following Aurubis. U.S. recycling demand continues to grow at more than 5 percent per year
Further down the state, Hyundai Motor announced the creation of a $5.5 billion Meta battery and electric vehicle assembly plant Savannah; the South Korean giant later agreed to a battery joint venture worth more than $4 billion SK Na Art Bartov district. NorwayFREYR Battery is building a $2.6 billion plant Newnan.
As Mr. Harings told Global Atlanta earlier, an electric vehicle uses more than twice as much copper as a gas-powered vehicle, partly because of more wires, but also for the cathode material inside the battery.
“We see this very positive neighborhood and the environment and industrial value chains that are now being built with massive investment in the country, and we are confident that we will and can play an important role in all of this,” said Mr. Harings.
Aurubis, which uses huge melting furnaces called top-air rotary converters (two for each phase) in a pyrometallurgical process that separates materials, will double production from 90,000 tonnes of pig copper in the first phase, which is due to start production in the second half of 2024. By 2026, when the second phase is commissioned, capacity will double to 180,000 tons.
The goal, Mr. Harings said, has always been to create a modular system that Aurubis can “add capacity to when we see the opportunity, and that’s essentially what we’re doing here.”
However, construction was not easy in times of labor shortages and rising prices. Work on foundation and piling, preparation of drainage is almost completed. Aurubis’ board of directors has approved spending of €90 million on top of the €250 million expansion to offset increased construction costs.
“We are on the right track, despite, I must admit, some real challenges in the supply chain, because we are not the only ones who want to build something,” the CEO noted.
Aurubis’ gross pre-tax profit of 532 million euros in 2021-22 increased by 40 percent, mainly due to higher metal prices.
The company is financing its expansion through its own cash and existing lines of credit. In other words, it doesn’t absorb the debt for the Georgia project, Mr. Harings said.
And even during a period of volatility for many European firms, exchange rates were not a concern as Aurubis has ample access to US dollars thanks to a “natural hedge” by selling the metals on global markets where sales are denominated in dollars, Mr. Harings said.
“We like the strong US dollar against the euro,” Mr Harings added.
Given the company’s emphasis on environmentally responsible float and its goal to enable a closed-loop economy in metals, It is common ground, Mr. Harings said, that Aurubis eventually plans to build a solar farm on or near its site, as it has done at some European plants.
But that goal will be put on the back burner for now to get the plant up and running and get the metals to market, he said.
Mr Harings said an entire recycling infrastructure, including some business partners sorting circuit boards, wiring and other materials that would otherwise go to landfill, would be set up next to the Aurubis plant, expanding its economic impact on the community. .
See previous Global Atlanta reports on the campaign here: