Novelis has broken ground on what it claims to be the world’s largest aluminium recycling centre at its plant in Nachterstedt, Germany at a cost of $250m.
The centre will enable the company to produce 400,000 metric tons of aluminium sheet ingot from recycled material annually and has been constructed adjacent to an existing aluminium rolling mill.
The centre will process used beverage cans (UBCs) and other forms of aluminium scrap from across continental Europe.
Novelis said they expect the centre to create 200 new jobs when it is commissioned in mid-2014.
Using recycled aluminum as input material requires only 5% of the energy used to make primary aluminum from raw materials, avoiding 95% of the greenhouse gases associated with production, said the firm.
According to industry figures from the Aluminium Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries aluminium cans have an industry average recycled content of 68%.
Phil Martens, president and chief executive officer for Novelis, said the investment is another step in increasing the recycled content of the rolled aluminium sheet they provide.
“The advanced sorting, processing and casting capabilities of the new Nachterstedt operation will propel us closer to our goal of 80% recycled content by 2020."
It also signifies the firm’s long term commitment to the European market, he added.
The expansion is the latest in a series of recycling and casting expansion projects launched over the past two years totaling nearly $450m, including the commissioning last month of the integrated recycling and casting center in Yeongju, Korea.
These projects, and others underway across the world, are designed to increase Novelis' recycling and casting capacity to 2.1 million tons by 2015.
Earlier this month, the CMI said the aluminium beverage can industry had collected and recycled more than 235,100lbs of cans with Rexam North America (874 per captia) winning first prize in the competition, followed by Novelis (352 per capita) in LaGrange and Ball Corporation (101 per capita).
Winners were selected from the highest per-capita collection rates based on the number of pounds of aluminum collected per employee at each site.
(Register here for free access to the first ever online event devoted to Operational Efficiency in food and beverage processing, taking place on November 29, organized by FoodProductionDaily.com and William Reed Business Media.)