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Novelis to build recycling center in Kentucky

The $365 million facility will support North American automotive customers and create 140 new jobs.

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January 11, 2022

Novelis Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, plans to invest $365 million to build a recycling center next to its automotive finishing plant in Guthrie, Kentucky. With annual casting capacity of 240,000 tons of sheet ingot, the company says it expects the facility to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 1 million tons annually while also allowing it to grow its closed-loop-recycling programs with North American automotive customers.

Through these closed-loop programs, Novelis takes back aluminum that remains after automotive parts have been stamped, remaking it into the same product for new vehicle production. The center also will be able to process aluminum from end-of-life vehicles, the company says, citing that using scrap to produce aluminum requires only 5 percent of the energy needed to make primary aluminum. This allows Novelis to avoid 95 percent of the carbon emissions associated with primary aluminum production. 

"Novelis aims to be the world's leading provider of low-carbon, sustainable aluminum solutions that advance our business, industry and society toward the benefits of a circular economy," says Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis Inc. "Through this investment, we will continue to increase the amount of recycled content in our products, reducing our CO2 emissions and moving us closer to carbon neutrality." 

Groundbreaking is scheduled for early 2022, with commissioning expected in 2024, the company says. 

When fully operational, the expansion will add approximately 140 new jobs in Guthrie. Novelis celebrated the grand opening of the automotive finishing plant in Guthrie in October of last year. That facility employs 150 people and will grow to 190 over the next two years, according to the company.

The new recycling center will feature advanced shredding and sorting technology and energy-efficient innovations that support the company's sustainability goal to reduce energy intensity by 10 percent by 2026, Novelis says.

"We are excited about this new investment in Kentucky, which will help Novelis achieve its sustainability goals, as well as support the carbon-reduction targets of our automotive customers," says Tom Boney, executive vice president and president of Novelis North America. "The commonwealth of Kentucky has been a great business partner for many years and has a strong, highly skilled workforce to meet the growing need for high-strength, low-carbon aluminum. We look forward to deepening our relationships with community leaders to ensure our facility has a lasting, beneficial impact in the region."

"As we continue to build back throughout western Kentucky, companies are committed to creating quality job opportunities for Kentucky families," Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear says, referencing the devastating long-track tornado that swept through that portion of the commonwealth in early December 2021.  

"I had the chance to join Novelis for the grand opening of the company's automotive aluminum finishing plant just over two months ago, and its leadership's decision to quickly move forward with plans for expansion is tremendous news. Novelis is proving to be a great fit for Todd County and the surrounding area, and I am eager to see the company continue to grow for years to come."

Novelis says it has a 37-year history of creating jobs in Kentucky and investing in local communities, employing 1,600 people in the commonwealth. In addition to its Guthrie automotive finishing facility, Novelis operates an aluminum beverage can recycling plant in Berea, Kentucky, and the Logan Aluminum joint venture in Russellville, Kentucky.

Novelis, which had net sales of $12.3 billion in its 2021 fiscal year, is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Ltd., an industry leader in aluminum and copper, and the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbai, India.