Novelis Inc., the world's largest recycler of aluminium, said it will invest $2.5 billion to build a new low-carbon recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama.
The facility will have an initial 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminium goods capacity per year, the Hindalco subsidiary says in a statement.
This is also the largest global greenfield expansion project of the Aditya Birla Group and will take the group's total investment in the U.S. across businesses to over $14 billion.
"This investment marks the start of another transformational growth phase for Novelis," says Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group and the Novelis Board of Directors. "We continue to invest in each of the markets Novelis serves – from beverage can to automotive, aerospace and specialties – and in all geographies."
More than half of the capacity of the new facility will be used to serve growing demand for aluminium beverage can sheet in North America, which is driven by consumer preference for more sustainable packaging, says the aluminium producer.
Novelis has a 40% global market share in beverage can body stock, where demand remains robust.
Novelis' decision to build a fully integrated, greenfield recycling and rolling plant is backed by strong North American demand for flat-rolled, low-carbon aluminum from can makers and beverage companies. 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 company says.
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.
"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," says Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis.
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 incentivise U.S. consumers to recycle more often.
"Aluminum cans are an important form of packaging that, when recycled, play a vital role in our overall efforts to reduce waste," says 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."
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.
The company expects to begin commissioning in mid-2025.