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Novelis Opens World's Largest Aluminum Recycling Facility

Image Credit: Novelis

Novelis, global producer of aluminum rolling products, today opened the world's largest aluminum recycling center, located adjacent to the company's rolling mill in Nachterstedt, Germany.

The $258 million recycling center will process up to 400,000 metric tons of aluminum scrap annually, turning it back into high-value aluminum ingots to feed the company's European manufacturing network.

The Nachterstedt Recycling Center features state-of-the-art technology for aluminum scrap sorting, de-coating, melting and casting. The facility gives Novelis the flexibility to process a wide range of scrap types, creating a more efficient closed-loop recycling system and increasing Europe's domestic scrap consumption. Around 200 employees will work at the new facility.

Novelis' John Gardner
will discuss innovations in
sustainable packaging
the circular economy
at SB'14 London

Nachterstedt's central location within Europe provides the plant with access to efficient transportation networks. Aluminum ingots produced at Nachterstedt will be hot-rolled at Novelis' facilities in Norf, Germany, and Sierre, Switzerland, and then supplied to company operations across Europe for further processing. Finished coils of aluminum sheet will be delivered to customers primarily in the automotive and beverage can markets.

Since 2011, Novelis has invested approximately $500 million to expand its recycling network, doubling its recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tons per year and raising its recycled content from 30 percent to 46 percent. The company's goal is to achieve 80 percent recycled content by 2020. Recycling aluminum saves 95 percent of the energy and emissions associated with the production of primary metal.

The Nachterstedt Recycling Center is a major step towards the company’s goal to be the world's low-carbon aluminum sheet producer, shifting its business model from a traditional linear approach to an increasingly closed-loop model. It also will enable the company to accelerate and capitalize on the sustainability potential of aluminum as a lightweight, recyclable metal and to dramatically reduce the embedded carbon in its products.

Novelis also recently announced a $106 million investment that will add 100,000 metric tons of coating capacity and 190,000 metric tons of recycling capacity at its Pindamonhangaba facility in São Paulo, Brazil. The coating line is designed specifically for beverage can end stock, and the addition of this 100,000 ton line will double the market's capacity to supply coated can end stock. It also will enable Novelis to deliver directly to can customers in the region, a function previously provided by a third-party partner.

In April, Novelis launched the world's first commercial use of evercan™, the company's independently-certified high-recycled content aluminum sheet for beverage cans. Red Hare Brewing Company selected Novelis’ evercan aluminum as part of its commitment to reduce the company's environmental footprint. In May, the company’s craft beer began being packaged exclusively in cans made of Novelis' evercan aluminum sheet – made of a minimum 90 percent recycled content.

Mike Hower is Marketing Communications Manager at Carbon Lighthouse. With a background on both sides of the communications podium — as a journalist and strategic communicator — he is committed to helping organizations address climate change through sustainability innovation. Previously,… [Read more about Mike Hower]

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