SOUTH KOREA – US-based aluminum packaging provider Novelis has commenced construction on a new recycling center in South Korea.

The US$50 million recycling center in Ulsan, which will have a 100kt annual casting capacity of low-carbon sheet ingot, takes the company’s recycling capacity by more than 20% to 440kt in Korea.

According to Novelis, the new facility will enhance its capability to process different types of aluminum scrap.

In addition, the Ulsan recycling center is designed to address the long-term global demand for sustainable, low-carbon aluminum sheets for can, automotive and high-end speciality products.

The center is expected to cut Novelis’ carbon emissions by more than 420,000tpa.

Novelis Asia President Sachin Satpute said: “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.

“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.”

The new facility marks the latest investment for Novelis to increase its recycling capacity globally. It is expected to be operational in 2024.

A ground-breaking ceremony for the facility was attended by Ulsan Metropolitan City Mayor Doo-Gyeom Kim and Ulsan Chamber of Commerce chairman Yeon-Chul Lee, among others.

In South Korea, Novelis also operates another aluminum recycling center in Yeongju, North Gyeongsang Province.

The Yeongju facility, which is claimed to be the largest in Asia, processes more than 18 billion used beverage cans annually.

Last month, the company announced plans to build a US$2.5 billion low-carbon recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama.

The Alabama facility will initially have the capacity to produce 600,000 metric tons of finished aluminum goods annually, note Novelis.

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

With this addition, Novelis says it will soon be able to recycle 90 billion cans globally, up from the 74 billion used beverage cans the company currently recycles.

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