CHICAGO Novelis Inc. has opened its expanded aluminum rolling facility in Pindamonhangaba, Brazil, as it looks to meet growing demand for flat-rolled products in South America.
The $340-million expansion should boost capacity at the plant by approximately 50 percent to more than 600,000 metric tonnes per year of aluminum sheet, the Atlanta-based company said July 30. The project also represents Novelis biggest investment in South America in the past decade, the company said.
Brazil is one of the most rapidly growing regions where Novelis operates around the world. With the expansion of our plant in Pindamonhangaba, we expect to meet the growing demand for aluminum flat-rolled products in South America for the next decade, Novelis president and chairman Phil Martens said in a statement.
The project included installing a third cold-rolling mill at the Pindamonhangaba complex as well as a ingot casting center and a pusher furnace for the operations hot-rolling mill, Novelis said.
The investment bolsters Noveliss position in the beverage can and aluminum packaging markets and should allow the company to take advantage of expected growth in the automotive sector as well, Novelis South America president Tadeu Nardocci said in a statement. Thats because Brazil has set carbon dioxide-emission reduction targets that should see automakers looking to make lighter weight and more fuel-efficient vehicles, he said.
Pindamonhangaba already sports the biggest aluminum recycling center in South America and plans to expand it further, increasing the use of aluminum scrap and developing new alloys that contain more recycled content, Nardocci said. The push is part of Noveliss goal of having 80-percent recycled material in its products by 2020, he said.
Brazil recycles 98 percent of all cans sold compared with slightly more than 50 percent in the United States, a company spokesman said in an e-mail to AMM July 30.
Novelis said it is the only company in South America that makes can sheet. The expansion also comes as Brazil prepares for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, which should see increased beverage can consumption in the country, the spokesman said.