Novelis Announces Plans For US$2.5 MM Aluminium Can Recycling Plant In SW Alabama

Novelis Announces Plans For US$2.5 MM Aluminium Can Recycling Plant In SW Alabama
Rendering of Novelis' planned, brand new fully integrated aluminum recycling and rolling mill in Bay Minette, Alabama, USA. Source: Novelis

Atlanta’s rolled aluminium firm Novelis Inc. said this week that it is planning to build a US$2.5-billion low-carbon aluminium recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama. The new plant, which is a response to strong demand from the aluminium beverage packaging and automotive sectors, is slated to have a nameplate capacity of 600 thousand metric tons of finished aluminium per annum.

According to the firm, most of the new aluminium plant’s capacity will be devoted to meeting the ever-increasing demand for aluminium sheet by North American producers. Novelis notes that the current lifecycle for aluminium cans to go from can, through the recycling process, then as a beverage can again, is as little as 60 days.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group and the Novelis Board of Directors, said in a press release that this marks a new era for his firm.

“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.”

“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,” explained Steve Fisher, President and CEO of Novelis Inc. “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.”

Upon commissioning in the summer of 2025, Novelis will have the capacity to recycle 90 billion aluminium cans per year, an increase from its current capacity of 74 billion.

Ron Lewis, Ball Corporation’s chief operating officer, global beverage packaging, said the new aluminium can recycling plant will help his firm meet its own sustainability goals.

“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.”

“Aluminum cans are an important form of packaging that, when recycled, play a vital role in our overall efforts to reduce waste,” noted 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.”

Novelis is a subsidiary of Mumbai’s Hindalco Industries Ltd. Based in Atlanta, the firm accounts for almost half of Hindalco’s consolidated revenue. The world’s largest recycler of aluminium, Novelis conducts operations in ten different countries, employs around eleven thousand people, and reported US$11.2 billion in net sales for the most recent fiscal year.