Novelis aluminum rolling and recycling has completed a two-year, $400m expansion program in South Korea and claims 34% of aluminum flat rolled products will come from Asia and the Middle East in the next five years.
Shashi Maudgal, SVP and president, Novelis Asia, told FoodProductionDaily Asia has low per capita consumption of beverages in cans compared to the Western world.
“Asia is, generally speaking, a manufacturing friendly region. This consumption of beverages in aluminum cans is expanding, and aluminum production is growing with it,” he said.
Yeongju Recycling Center
The South Korea expansion includes a hot rolling finishing mill, cold rolling mill, pusher furnace, high-speed slitter, annealing furnaces, and a previously commissioned recycling center at Yeongju.
The Yeongju Recycling Center is one of a series of recycling and casting expansion projects launched by Novelis over the past two years to increase its recycling and casting capacity to 2.1m tons globally by 2015.
“The company continues to make significant progress in its long-term recycling objectives, and the path to 50% recycled inputs by 2015 is clear,” said Maudgal.
Expansion in other markets
“This progress is enabled by investments of close to $500m to nearly double the company’s recycling capacity by mid-decade.
“In addition to our recycling facility in Yeongju, South Korea, the largest beverage can recycling system in Asia, Novelis also broke ground on a plant in Nachterstedt, Germany, which will be the largest aluminum recycling facility in the world when complete in 2014.”
Thanks to the latest project completion, the company wants to expand into other markets within the region. It will supply coils to its automotive sheet finishing plant in Changzhou, China, which will start production in mid-2014 and plans topursue business opportunities in markets like consumer electronics.
Asia is rapidly developing
“In the last few decades, a number of Asian countries became “manufacturers to the world”,” said Maudgal.
“The region also became a hub of activity for electronics, and aluminum is a critical component in this industry.
“Asia is developing rapidly, and usage of aluminum in building and construction is also growing. We are also seeing an increasing trend of aluminum replacing steel in different product markets due to the variety of benefits that aluminum can offer.
The challenge for us is to manage the inter-country supply chain with metal and scrap coming from many parts of the world and, in the future, automotive sheet moving from Ulsan, South Korea to Changzhou, China for finishing.”
Novelis has a regional headquarters in Seoul, operates four plants in South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. The firm employs approximately 1,800 people in the region including 200 staff as part of the expansion.