The company, based in Atlanta, Georgia, said the new expansion includes the addition of a new recycling and casting center and will allow it to form closed-loop recycling, the process of repurposing a material or product indefinitely, and partnerships with auto customers in Asia.
Novelis is a subsidiary of Indian metals company Hindalco Industries Ltd. The company already counts Jaguar, Land Rover and Ford Motor Co. among some of its customers, and states that the initiative would be the first automotive closed-loop recycling system in China, the world’s biggest automobile market.
Currently, Novelis counts with a rolling and recycling facility in Zhenjiang and its automotive finishing plant in Changzhou, China. The plan is to integrate the new expansion in order to create a complete supply chain for the market in China. The expansion is set to begin work in the first months of 2022, and be finished by mid-2024.
As countries scale up their efforts to combat climate change, the need for recyclable, less carbon-intensive metals is rapidly increasing. According to Novelis’ calculations, recycling aluminum requires only 5% of the energy used to make primary aluminum and emits 5% of the associated greenhouse gases. The company said it has increased global automotive capacity by 250% over the past three years in order to meet car makers’ need for more sustainable materials.
Sachin Satpute, president of Novelis Asia, said the investment in the Zhenjiang facility is needed to keep up with demand, particularly from electric-vehicle producers, and aligns with the company’s own sustainability goals, as well as those of China. Beijing has said that it aims to be carbon neutral by 2060. Novelis has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions 30% by 2026 and become carbon neutral by 2050.