Aluminum producer Novelis has commissioned an expansion of its secondary smelting facility in Latchford, U.K. The cost of the expansion will be around €13.6 million ($18.3 million) and is expected to increase the plant’s capacity by more than one third to become Europe’s largest recycled-content production facility of automotive aluminum rolled products.
“With the commissioning in Latchford, we are expanding our recycling capabilities and developing efficient manufacturing systems along our automotive supply chain,” says Erwin Mayr, senior vice president and president of Novelis Europe. “Responding to the realities of our increasingly resource-constrained world and demands for a more sustainable economy, Novelis is transforming its business model to be largely based on closed-loop recycling.”
Novelis’ Latchford plant currently employs about 135 people and processes 160,000 metric tons of aluminum per year. With the expansion the facility will process around 220,000 metric tons per year and will add another 30 full-time jobs at the facility.
Much of the additional capacity will be directed to support the auto industry’s 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 and environmental control equipment.
Through Novelis’ aluminum recycling process, scrap is re-melted and cast into 10-to-12 metric ton ingots, each saving about 100 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to ingots produced from primary aluminum, according to the company. The ingots are then rolled back into automotive sheet at Novelis facilities in Europe.