Novelis Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, has announced that it has broken ground on a new $50 million recycling center at its Ulsan Aluminum joint venture in Ulsan, South Korea. The facility is expected to come online in 2024.
With an annual casting capacity of 100,000 metric tons of low-carbon sheet ingot, Novelis says the center, which is being built by Ulsan Aluminum, Novelis’ joint venture with Kobe Steel, is expected to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 420,000 tons annually.
“As the world leader in sustainable, low-carbon rolled aluminum solutions, we are focused on accelerating the transition of the aluminum industry to a circular economy model through the increased use of recycled content in our products,” says Sachin Satpute, president of Novelis Asia. “Doing so will reduce our carbon footprint—as well as that of our customers and industry as a whole—and lead us closer to realizing our 2050 goal for carbon neutrality.”
Novelis, which operates Asia’s largest aluminum recycling center in Yeongju, North Gyeongsang province, says it is building the new recycling center to meet long-term global demand for sustainable, low-carbon aluminum sheet for can, automotive and high-end specialty products. The addition of the Ulsan Recycling Center will allow Novelis to increase its recycling capacity by more than 20 percent to 440,000 metric tons in Korea and to enhance its capability to process different types of aluminum scrap.
This is the latest in a string of Novelis’ recent investments to increase its recycling capacity globally. The company also recently broke ground on its $2.5 billion recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama. That site is expected to add 600,000 tons of finished aluminum goods capacity per year for the beverage container market, with the flexibility for automotive production, the company says. It also includes a new recycling center for used beverage cans (UBCs), increasing Novelis’ recycling capacity from 74 billion UBCs to 90 million annually. Earlier this year, Novelis began construction of a $365 million advanced recycling center in Guthrie, Kentucky, that will be able to cast 240,000 tons of sheet ingot for its automotive customers per year.
Novelis says using recycled aluminum as an input material saves 95 percent of the energy needed to produce primary aluminum from bauxite, thus reducing carbon emissions by 95 percent. In addition, aluminum is infinitely recyclable, making it increasingly important as a sustainable material choice. For example, UBCs can be recycled, made into new cans and be back on store shelves in just 60 days. Novelis recycles 82 billion UBCs annually, with the Yeongju Recycling Center processing more than 18 billion annually.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the recycling center was attended by Ulsan Metropolitan City Mayor Doo-Gyeom Kim, Ulsan Chamber of Commerce Chairman Yeon-Chul Lee and U.S. Consulate in Busan Principal Officer Nolan Barkhouse.
Novelis 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.