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Novelis promotes Smith to oversee Oswego complex

Keywords: Tags  Novelis, Oswego, Chris Smith, Luc Boivin, Tom Walpole, plant manager, capacity expansion, sheet automotive

CHICAGO — Novelis Inc. has tapped company veteran Chris Smith as the new plant manager of its Oswego, N.Y., aluminum complex.

Smith replaces Luc Boivin, who will retire after nearly 30 years with Novelis, the aluminum producer said March 19.

Smith most recently served as global director of automotive products at Novelis’ Atlanta headquarters. He previously worked in the Oswego plant from 2006 to 2010 as manager of product quality and then as hot-mill manufacturing unit manager, Novelis said. He also has held positions at Novelis facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The Oswego plant is in the midst of a $200-million expansion, including a 192,000-square-foot addition and two new finishing lines dedicated to making aluminum sheet for the automotive sector, Novelis said. The first line is due to be completed in July and the second in September, the company said.

"Chris’ experience will be a tremendous asset as we conclude this major capital-expansion project and bring our new automotive capacity online," Tom Walpole, senior vice president of Novelis and president of Novelis North America, said in a statement.

The Oswego complex, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, serves the automotive and transportation, consumer and industrial, building and construction, and beverage can markets. It employs 928 people, produces more than a billion pounds of aluminum sheet a year and is Novelis’ largest wholly owned North American fabrication plant, sporting scrap remelting, ingot casting, and hot- and cold-rolling capabilities (, Feb. 14).

Last month, the company said the Oswego facility had been experiencing some delays following the installation of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, although Novelis president and chief executive officer Philip Martens said Feb. 12 that the issue was "largely behind us" and that "production has returned to near normal levels."

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