Novelis (novelis.com), the global leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, has officially opened the world’s largest aluminum recycling center. Located adjacent to the company’s rolling mill in Nachterstedt, Germany, the $258 million (€200 million) recycling center will process up to 400,000 metric tons of aluminum scrap annually, turning it back into high-value aluminum ingots to feed the company’s European manufacturing network.
“The Nachterstedt Recycling Center is a significant step toward our goal to be the world’s low-carbon aluminum sheet producer, shifting our business model from a traditional linear approach to an increasingly closed-loop model,” says Phil Martens, president and chief executive officer of Novelis. “This new facility further strengthens Novelis’ leadership in Europe, and together with our major recycling operations in Asia, North America and South America, solidifies Novelis’ position as the global aluminum recycling leader.”
Since 2011, Novelis has invested approximately $500 million to expand its recycling network, doubling its recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tons per year and raising its recycled content from 30% to 46%. The company’s goal is to achieve 80% recycled content by 2020. Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy and emissions associated with the production of primary metal.
“This strategy will enable us to accelerate and capitalize on the sustainability potential of aluminum as a lightweight, infinitely recyclable metal and to dramatically reduce the embedded carbon in our products,” says Martens. “In an increasingly energy- and carbon-constrained environment, we are convinced it will be a key source of competitive advantage for our company – and for our customers.”
The Nachterstedt Recycling Center features state-of-the-art technology for aluminum scrap sorting, de-coating, melting and casting. The facility gives Novelis the flexibility to process a wide range of scrap types, creating a more efficient closed-loop recycling system and increasing Europe’s domestic scrap consumption. Approximately 200 employees will work at the new facility.
“In developing the recycling and casting facility, we implemented best-in-class technologies to ensure that it meets the highest standards of operational efficiency and environmental excellence,” says Erwin Mayr, senior vice president, Novelis, and President, Novelis Europe. “To feed the facility, we are expanding and diversifying our scrap purchasing network to ensure the highest quality scrap is recycled back into the same product whenever possible, conserving more metal, reducing waste and using less energy than ever before.”
“The opening of the new recycling center marks another milestone in the Novelis success story in Nachterstedt,” says Dr. Reiner Haseloff, First Minister of the State of Saxony-Anhalt. “I am particularly pleased that some 200 new jobs have been created as a result of these investments. Novelis joins the group of industrial companies which employ more than 1,000 people in Saxony-Anhalt. This is also a signal to young people and families in the region that opportunities in their home country have never been as promising as they are today. Take advantage of them, and help us shape the future of our country.”
Nachterstedt’s central location within Europe provides the plant with access to efficient transportation networks. Aluminum ingots produced at Nachterstedt will be hot-rolled at Novelis’ facilities in Norf, Germany, and Sierre, Switzerland, and then supplied to company operations across Europe for further processing. Finished coils of aluminum sheet will be delivered to customers primarily in the automotive and beverage can markets.