Novelis has completed its two-year, $400 million expansion program in South Korea that includes the largest aluminum beverage can recycling center in Asia, the company says.
The expansion of its Yeongju and Ulsan plants increases the company’s production capacity in the region by more than 50 percent to approximately 1 million metric tons of aluminum sheet per year.
Novelis began the expansion of its aluminum rolling and recycling facilities in 2011 to meet the rising demand for flat rolled aluminum in high value-added products in the Asian market such as consumer electronics. The expansion includes a hot rolling finishing mill, cold rolling mill, pusher furnace, high-speed slitter and annealing furnaces, in addition to the previously commissioned fully-integrated recycling center at Yeongju.
The demand for aluminum in the Asian automotive market is expected to exceed the 25 percent compound annual growth rate projected globally over the next five years, as more auto manufacturers move to build lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Novelis says its expansion in South Korea will help it meet this growing market.
Novelis opened its aluminum recycling and casting center at its Yeongju facility in October 2012. This new operation has the capacity to produce 265,000 tons of sheet ingot. The Yeongju Recycling Center is one of a series of recycling and casting expansion projects launched by Novelis over the past two years to increase its recycling and casting capacity to 2.1 million tons globally by 2015.
Earlier this year Novelis announced the commercial availability of what it says is the industry’s first independently certified, high-recycled content aluminum designed specifically for the beverage can market. With a minimum of 90 percent recycled aluminum, the Novelis evercan aluminum beverage can body sheet allows beverage companies to deliver soft drinks, beer and other beverages in a low-carbon footprint consumer package, the company says.
Novelis evercan aluminum sheet has been certified for high-recycled content by SCS Global Services. The company says its efforts to increase the recycling of beverage cans is a key component of its plan to increase the recycled content of its products across its global operations to 80 percent by 2020.