Accelerated Investment in Aurubis’ Augusta Multi-metal Recycling Facility Strengthens Georgia’s Position in EV, Sustainability
As investments in the electric mobility industry in Georgia rapidly accelerate with major projects from electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers, battery suppliers, and other components of a closed-loop electric mobility supply chain, an influx of ancillary companies is forming to support this booming sector.
German multi-metal provider and recycling company Aurubis is one of those companies. As one of the world’s leading recyclers of copper, precious metals, and non-ferrous materials, Aurubis was drawn to the state for its pro-business environment, spirit of innovation, and focus on building out a world-class electric mobility value chain.
Responding to consistent growth in the U.S. for complex recycling solutions heighted by the growth of the EV industry, Aurubis announced in November 2021 that it would build a recycling and secondary smelting facility for multi-metal recycling in Augusta, Georgia. Leaders from the Georgia Department of Economic Development were at company headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, when the investment was announced. It was one of a series of meetings between the company and local and state officials that occurred on the home soil of each of the partners.
Not long after its initial groundbreaking, the company announced in December 2022 that it would increase its investment total to €640 million. Aurubis projects it will double its throughput volume from the previously announced 90,000 tons of complex recycling materials to 180,000 tons per year. The facility is expected to create 200 jobs.
The announcement not only marked the single-largest investment of a German company in Georgia but also the first facility of its kind in the U.S. This is also the first greenfield project in the U.S. for the company.
Aurubis plans to produce materials that can be used in lithium-ion batteries and other electronics that are valuable in the EV industry. Processing complex metal-bearing materials and returning them to use is essential for maintaining a sustainable battery materials industry.
Not long after the December 2022 announcement, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and state leaders were again on the ground in Germany to celebrate the company’s commitment to Georgia, the e-mobility and renewable energy ecosystems, and the exciting jobs of the future the company would bring to the state.
“Our ports system, highly skilled workforce, and pro-business environment – which prioritizes partnership and innovation – have once again attracted a top-notch opportunity for hardworking Georgians in Augusta,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp in a press release. “Aurubis will now join more than 500 German companies with operations in Georgia, and this project underscores the strengths of our exceptional state and local economic development teams.”
Roland Harings, CEO of Aurubis, said today’s high recycling demand cannot be met by existing facilities.
“The world needs metals such as copper – which can be recycled without loss of quality or performance – for our cars, mobile phones, batteries, cables, and computers,” he said in a press release. “Our increased commitment to the U.S. will be a game-changer – for the environment, for manufacturers, and for the larger transition to a renewable economy.”
Aurubis broke ground on the state-of-the-art recycling plant in June 2022, with the first phase expected to come online in mid-2024 and the expansion to be completed in 2026. The company was able to quickly start work on the site due to its status as a “Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Certified” site. GRAD certification is a proactive way for landowners and local developers to catalyze economic growth and increase speed to market for companies.
“The Development Authority of Augusta, Georgia is excited to see steel emerge from the site and the speed at which Aurubis is not only building this state-of-the-art facility but also the speed at which they continue to look at and execute further expansions,” said Cal Wray, president of the Augusta Economic Development Authority. “We know that Aurubis will provide great jobs and be a wonderful addition to the Augusta Family.”
While Aurubis’ presence in Georgia is indicative of the state’s status as a national leader in electric mobility and sustainable battery production, it is also evidence of a strong partnership that exists between Georgia and Germany.
Germany is one of Georgia’s top three investment partners, and it was Georgia’s second-largest job-creating country for Foreign Direct investment in FY22. At least 513 German facilities operate in the state, employing more than 25,000 Georgians. This year, Georgia is celebrating its 50th year of continuous representation in Germany.
Learn more about Georgia’s expanding EV supply chain at www.georgia.org/EV.
-Posted January 30, 2023