World’s largest aluminium recycler Novelis to expand China plant

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By Pratima Desai

LONDON – The world’s largest aluminium recycler, Novelis, will invest $375 million in its Zhenjiang operation in China to expand recycling and production for aluminium products used in the auto industry, the company said on Friday.

Metal recycling will play an important role in the energy transition, which includes a switch to electric vehicles from internal combustion engine cars.

Novelis, a subsidiary of India’s Hindalco, expects to complete the expansion project by the middle of 2024.

“The investment will create a fully integrated supply chain for the automotive market in China between our Zhenjiang rolling and recycling facility and Changzhou automotive finishing plant,” Novelis said.

Novelis, the world’s largest supplier of automotive sheet, processes more than two million tonnes of aluminium scrap a year, resulting in an average of 61% recycled content in its products.

Recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than producing primary aluminum.

“Recycling is a key component of our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner and we are committed to reducing our CO2 footprint by 30% by 2026,” Novelis Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer Pierre Labat told Reuters.

Labat said that 15% of Novelis’s CO2 emissions are classed as Scope 1 and 2, with 85% in the Scope 3 category.

Scope 1 emissions are those from a company’s direct operations, Scope 2 relates to power a company uses for its operations and Scope 3 emissions are from the products it sells.

“For us, the main thing will be to expand our recycling facilities to reduce our Scope 3 emissions; to recycle as much as we can instead of buying primary aluminium,” Labat said.

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(Reporting by Pratima Desai; Editing by David Goodman)