GFG Alliance plans secondary aluminum expansion in Scotland

Conglomerate’s Alvance subsidiary announces 40,000 tons per year expansion plan for its Fort William, U.K., facility.

November 18, 2020

Aluminum producer Alvance, which along with Liberty Steel is part of the United Kingdom-based GFG Alliance, has announced plans to add 40,000 metric tons per year of scrap-fed secondary aluminum production at a plant in Fort William, Scotland.

The company says the 94 million pound ($124.5 million) project will involve the installation of a new recycling and casting facility that will double aluminum production at the Fort William plant from slightly more than 40,000 metric tons per year to 80,000.

The new casting facility will produce billets that Alvance says can be marketed to the U.K.’s domestic construction sector, which it says “currently relies heavily on imports.” To support the Fort William expansion, Alvance also has proposed what it calls “significant upgrades to the nearby port of Corpach [Scotland] to improve [the] efficiency of material flow.”

“By utilizing domestic scrap aluminum that is currently exported, we will nearly double production here at Fort William,” states Sanjeev Gupta, GFG Alliance executive chair. “The new facilities, alongside the Lochaber [Scotland] hydro plant, will create market-leading ‘GreenAluminium’ products that deliver for the environment as well as the economy.”

Regarding regional government cooperation for the plan, a member of the Scottish Parliament, Fergus Ewing, comments, “The Scottish Government is committed to working with Alvance Aluminium to secure the long-term future of the Fort William smelter, grow output and employment through investment in downstream manufacturing capability. We will work with Alvance to consider the new business plan and to secure the earliest possible investment in the Fort William complex.”

Proposals pertaining to the expansion will be submitted to the Highlands Council for approval, and would then replace a previously announced plan to install an aluminum alloy wheels factory. That plan has been shelved, Alvance says, “due to a significant decline in the U.K. automotive sector.”