Novelis to build $2.5 billion low-carbon aluminum recycling and rolling plant

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Novelis Inc., a global leader in sustainable aluminum solutions and aluminum rolling and recycling, said today that it will spend $2.5 billion on new low-carbon recycling and rolling factory in Bay Minette, Alabama. The cutting-edge factory will have an initial capacity of 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum items per year.

“This investment marks the start of another transformational growth phase for Novelis. We continue to invest in each of the markets Novelis serves from beverage can to automotive, aerospace and specialties and in all geographies. Novelis has a track record of success in delivering customers the low-carbon, sustainable aluminum solutions they seek, and we will continue that storied history with this investment and others to come. This is also the largest global greenfield expansion project of the Aditya Birla Group and will take the Group’s total investment in the US across businesses to over $14bn,”

Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group and the Novelis Board of Directors.

More than half of the new facility’s capacity will be used to meet North America’s expanding demand for aluminum beverage can sheets, which is being driven by customer demand for more environmentally friendly packaging.

“Through this investment, we are making a demonstrative commitment to continue to grow alongside our customers and meet their needs for low-carbon, highly sustainable aluminum solutions. In addition, we are well-positioned to efficiently expand capacity at this facility in the future above the 600kt announced today to capture ongoing strong demand. Our readiness to invest to serve growing markets is a perfect example of how we are delivering on our company purpose of shaping a sustainable world together,”

Steve Fisher, President, and CEO of Novelis Inc.

Strong North American demand for flat-rolled, low-carbon aluminum from can makers and beverage firms prompted Novelis to establish a fully integrated, greenfield recycling and rolling operation. Models of sustainable packaging and the circular economy include aluminum beverage cans, bottles, and cups. A can that is recycled today might be back on shop shelves in as little as 60 days, according to its short “can-to-can” lifespan.

The plant will be the country’s first fully integrated aluminium mill in 40 years. It is intended to generate up to 1,000 high-paying sophisticated manufacturing jobs. It will also be the most advanced and long-lasting of its kind. For Scope 1 and 2, it will strive to be net carbon neutral, powered mostly by renewable energy, use recycled water, and be a zero-waste plant. It will also rely on railroad transit, which has the potential to reduce logistics-related carbon emissions by up to 70% when compared to road transport. Advanced automation and digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and robotics, will be used extensively in the plant.

“As the world’s leading supplier of infinitely recyclable aluminum beverage packaging, Ball is committed to creating a circular economy within the aluminum industry and decarbonizing the value chain is fundamental to this work. Novelis’ new recycling and rolling plant will not only add much needed domestic production of sustainable aluminum here in North America but will do so while decreasing the carbon footprint of the products we create,”

Ron Lewis, Ball Corporation’s chief operating officer, global beverage packaging. 

Novelis will soon be able to recycle 90 billion beverage cans worldwide, up from the current 74 billion. Novelis has been trying to establish circular economies for aluminum through state and federal regulations, as well as partnerships with customers and other stakeholders on novel techniques that encourage and incentive Americans to recycle more frequently.

“Aluminum cans are an important form of packaging that, when recycled, play a vital role in our overall efforts to reduce waste. The announcement of this new, low-carbon recycling and rolling facility by our longtime partners at Novelis will benefit the Coca-Cola system, our customers and consumers, while reducing impact on the environment,”

John Murphy, Chief Financial Officer of The Coca-Cola Company.

Site development is already ongoing, with commissioning expected to commence in mid-2025.

The factory will serve the beverage can sector as well as the automobile business, where aluminum is the fastest-growing material as automakers work to meet their sustainability goals.

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