Ford, GM & Rivian urge DOE to invest in clean aluminum

Ford, General Motors, Rivian, and other companies urged the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to invest in clean aluminum. 

The U.S. automakers and a few other companies wrote a letter to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm about using investments from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to revive and grow the aluminum industry in the United States. 

“Today, primary aluminum production in the United States is in crisis. While global demand for primary aluminum is forecast to grow over the coming decades, domestic primary aluminum production has continued to decline and is at risk of disappearing,” noted the letter to Sec. Granholm. 

“The IRA is poised to make the largest-ever investment in U.S. manufacturing, supercharging aluminum-dependent clean energy technologies…In order to meet increased aluminum demand that will affect all our industries, the U.S. must invest heavily in supply,” argued the companies in the letter. 

The other companies that signed the letter to the DOE are PepsiCo, Sierra Nevada, SunPower, Ball, Olipop, Shacksbury, Oakland United Beerworks, Alternate Energy Technologies, Golden Aluminum, SunEarth, and T.S. Conductor. The letter to Secretary Granholm was published on full-page ads in five newspapers: the Albany Times-Union, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Lousiville Courier-Journal, the South Carolina Post and Courier, and the Indianapolis Star. All the newspapers mentioned previously are in a market catering to the remaining six primary smelters in the United States. 

A 2022 report forecasted that global demand for aluminum would increase about 40% by 2030. It stated that the aluminum sector would produce an additional 33.3 Mt to meet global demand growth— from 86.2 Mt in 2020 to 119.5 Mt by 2030.

According to the report, the shift from fossil fuel cars to electric vehicle (EV) production would increase the demand for aluminum in the transport sector to 31.7 Mt in 2030. Besides E.V.s, technology related to renewable energy—like solar panels—would also contribute to the rising demand for aluminum over the next decade. 

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Ford, GM & Rivian urge DOE to invest in clean aluminum
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