Novelis has officially opened an aluminum recycling and casting center at its facility in Yeongju, South Korea. The Atlanta-based company, which is involved in aluminum recycling and rolling, says the new operation is the largest aluminum beverage can (UBC) recycling center in Asia.
The Yeongju recycling center is part of a multi-year, $400 million expansion of Novelis' operations in Korea. Novelis says Asia is the world's fastest growing market for rolled aluminum used to create beverage cans, cars and consumer electronics.
“The opening of the Yeongju recycling and casting facility marks an important milestone in our sustainability commitment,” Novelis President and CEO Phil Martens says. “Combined with our other recycling operations worldwide, this new state-of-the-art facility makes Novelis the world's leading recycler of aluminum, saving valuable natural resources while enabling our customers to create world-class products with a much smaller environmental footprint.”
The South Korea project represents the company’s first major step in its plan to increase its recycling capacity to 2.1 million tons by 2015. The new facility will have an annual capacity of 265,000 tons, and will increase the company's total consumption of recycled aluminum to more than 1.4 million tons per year. The company recently announced a $250 million investment in Germany to build what it says will be the largest aluminum recycling plant in the world. The company also is planning on doubling its recycling capacity in Brazil.
The company’s longer-term goal it to have 80 percent of the aluminum it produces comes from recycled metal. Novelis notes that in its first year of the commitment it increased its recycled-content level from 33 percent to 39 percent.
“The commissioning of our new recycling and casting facility is a testament to the diligent efforts of the Novelis Asia management team and the dedication of our highly skilled Novelis workforce here in South Korea,” says Shashi Maudgal, president of Novelis Asia. “With our aggressive expansion plans, we are well positioned to meet the rising demand for rolled aluminum.”
The company expects to be a major buyer of aluminum scrap throughout Asia due to the investment. UBCs and other aluminum scrap will be processed by the new facility for re-melting and casting into sheet ingot that will be rolled at the company's Yeongju and Ulsan plants. When running at full capacity, the new operation will add nearly 80 new positions to Novelis' 1,200 employee workforce in Korea.