Novelis to build $2.5 billion aluminum recycling and rolling plant in Alabama
Novelis Inc. will invest $2.5 billion to build a new low-carbon recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama, U.S. The highly advanced facility will have an initial 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum goods capacity per year.
"This investment marks the start of another transformational growth phase for Novelis," said Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group and the Novelis Board of Directors. "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."
More than half of the new facility's capacity will be used to serve the growing demand for aluminum beverage can sheets in North America, which is driven by consumer preference for more sustainable packaging.
Novelis' decision to build an integrated, greenfield recycling and rolling plant is backed by strong North American demand for flat-rolled, low-carbon aluminum from can makers and beverage companies. Aluminum beverage cans, bottles, and cups are the models of sustainable packaging and the circular economy. With an average "can-to-can" lifecycle of just a couple of months, a can that is recycled today can be back on store shelves in as little as 60 days.
The facility is expected to create up to 1,000 careers in modern manufacturing and will aim to be net carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2, be powered primarily by renewable energy, use recycled water, and be a zero-waste facility. It will also rely on railroad transportation, which can reduce logistics-related carbon emissions by up to 70 percent compared to road transport. The plant will make significant use of automation and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and robotics.
With the addition of a new recycling centre for beverage cans, Novelis will soon be able to recycle 90 billion cans globally, up from the 74 billion used beverage cans the company currently recycles. To support this, Novelis has been working to develop circular economies for aluminum through state and federal public policies, as well as through partnerships with customers and other stakeholders on new approaches that encourage and incentivize U.S. consumers to recycle more often.
"Aluminum cans are an important form of packaging that, when recycled, play a vital role in our overall efforts to reduce waste," said John Murphy, Chief Financial Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. "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."
Site work is underway now and the company expects to begin commissioning in mid-2025.
In addition to the beverage can market, the facility will also serve the automotive market, where aluminum is a growing material as automakers make plans to achieve their sustainability goals.