Novelis has commissioned the expansion of an aluminum recycling plant in the UK, increasing the plant’s capacity by more than a third and making it Europe’s largest closed-loop recycling operation for automotive aluminum rolled products, the company says.
The €13.6 million ($19 million) expansion project of Novelis’ Latchford, Warrington plant will increase capacity from 160,000 metric tons of aluminum annually to 220,000 metric tons.
Much of the additional capacity will support the industry’s growing demand for automotive aluminum sheet, particularly from Jaguar Land Rover, one of Novelis’ long-standing customers. The investment in new equipment for recycling automotive aluminum scrap includes a dedicated furnace, upgraded casting system, magnetic separation and handling equipment, as well as environmental controls.
During the recycling process, the scrap is re-melted and cast into 10-12 metric ton ingots, each saving approximately 100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to ingots produced from primary aluminum, the company says. The ingots are then subsequently rolled back into automotive sheet at Novelis’ specialized facilities in Europe.
This emerging closed-loop model reduces the environmental footprint of Novelis’ operations and that of its customers, such as JLR. This expansion will result in about 530,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas savings over the total aluminum value chain compared to using primary aluminum, Novelis says.
This project is the latest in a series of recycling expansion projects launched by Novelis over the past two years totaling approximately €680 million ($939 million). These projects are designed to increase Novelis’ recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tons by 2015 and help the company achieve its aggressive goal of increasing the recycled content of its products to 80 percent by 2020.
Last month, the company completed its two-year, $400 million expansion program in South Korea that includes the largest aluminum beverage can recycling center in Asia. Novelis says the expansion of its Yeongju and Ulsan plants increases its production capacity in the region by more than 50 percent to approximately 1 million metric tons of aluminum sheet per year.
Photo Credit: Novelis