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Novelis Inc., a leading sustainable aluminum solutions provider and a world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, announced it will invest USD 2.5 billion to build a new low-carbon recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama, US. The highly advanced facility will have an initial 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum goods capacity per year.

“This investment marks the start of another transformational growth phase for Novelis,” said Mr. 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. Novelis has a track record of success in delivering customers the low-carbon, sustainable aluminum solutions they seek, and we will continue that storied history with this investment and others to come.”

More than half of the capacity of the new facility will be used to serve growing demand for aluminum beverage can sheet in North America, which is driven by consumer preference for more sustainable packaging.

“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,” said Steve Fisher, President and CEO of Novelis Inc. “In addition, we are well-positioned to efficiently expand capacity at this facility in the future – above the 600 kt announced today – to capture ongoing strong demand. Our readiness to invest to serve growing markets is a perfect example of how we are delivering on our company purpose of shaping a sustainable world together.”

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. Aluminum beverage cans, bottles and cups are the models of sustainable packaging and the circular economy. 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.

“As the world’s leading supplier of infinitely recyclable aluminum beverage packaging, Ball is committed to creating a circular economy within the aluminum industry and decarbonizing the value chain is fundamental to this work,” said Ron Lewis, Ball Corporation’s chief operating officer, global beverage packaging. “Novelis’ new recycling and rolling plant will not only add much needed domestic production of sustainable aluminum here in North America but will do so while decreasing the carbon footprint of the products we create.”

The facility will be the first fully integrated aluminum mill built in the U.S. in 40 years. It is expected to create up to 1,000 high-paying, advanced careers in modern manufacturing. It will also be the most sophisticated and sustainable of its kind. It will aim to be net carbon neutral for Scope 1 and 2, be powered primarily by renewable energy, use recycled water and be a zero-waste facility. It will also rely on railroad transportation, which can reduce logistics-related carbon emissions by up to 70 % compared to road transport. The plant will make significant use of advanced automation and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, augmented reality and robotics.

With the addition of a new recycling center 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. To support this, Novelis has been working to develop circular economies for aluminum 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,” said 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.”

Site work is under way now and the company expects to begin commissioning in mid-2025.

In addition to the beverage can market, the facility will also serve the automotive market, where aluminum is the fastest growing material as automakers make plans to achieve their sustainability goals.

An SIG-backed beverage carton recycling project has won a A$1.74 million grant from the Federal and New South Wales (NSW) Government towards setting up a A$5 million facility that will turn post-consumer beverage cartons and paper cups into high performance building material. The project is funded by the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund and the NSW Government’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

The Australian and NSW Governments and the companies behind the project expect the facility will create confidence in a new market for recycled construction materials, similar to roads made from recycled glass, and enable more packaging to become 100 per cent recyclable, in line with Australian national packaging targets.

The project is the first collaboration between SIG and Tetra Pak in Australia under the umbrella of the Global Recycling Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (GRACE) and is a joint initiative with saveBOARD and its supporters Freightways and Closed Loop.

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) says this is a fantastic step forward for beverage cartons and for the brands and consumers that use this important type of packaging.

saveBOARD co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Paul Charteris says making high-performance low-carbon building materials using 100 % recycled materials from everyday waste is a game-changer that will transform the construction industry in Australia.

The first Australian saveBOARD plant will reprocess liquid paperboard beverage containers, including both aluminium-lined aseptic packages and non-aluminium-lined containers collected through the container deposit scheme and coffee cups collected through the ‘Simply Cups’ recycling program. It will also source material from document recycling company Shred-X.

Together with supplementary material from industrial processes, these items will be used to manufacture high-performance low-carbon building products to substitute plaster board, particle board, and oriented strand board (OSB) that can be used for interior and exterior applications.

The saveBOARD process uses heat and compression to bond materials, eliminating the need for glues or other chemical additives, to produce a clean product with zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), suitable for use in homes and commercial buildings.