Novelis' decision to build a fully integrated, greenfield recycling and rolling plant is backed by strong North American demand for flat-rolled, low-carbon aluminium from can makers and beverage companies. Aluminium 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 will be the first fully integrated aluminium mill built in the U.S. in 40 years. It is expected to create up to 1,000 high-paying, advanced careers in modern manufacturing. It will also be the most sophisticated and sustainable of its kind. It 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% compared to road transport. The plant will make significant use of advanced 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 aluminium 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.
Site work is under way 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 aluminium is the fastest growing material as automakers make plans to achieve their sustainability goals.
Source: Aluminium International Today