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Atlanta Company to Invest $2.5B to Build Aluminum Mill in Southwest Alabama

Wed May 18, 2022 - Southeast Edition
Associated Press & BCEDA

The fully integrated aluminum manufacturing facility will include recycling/casting, hot rolling and finishing for beverage can and automotive markets. (Novelis rendering)
The fully integrated aluminum manufacturing facility will include recycling/casting, hot rolling and finishing for beverage can and automotive markets. (Novelis rendering)

The first fully integrated aluminum mill in the United States in the past 40 years will be constructed on the 3,000-acre South Alabama Mega Site north of Bay Minette in Alabama's Baldwin County. The factory will produce metal for drink cans and aluminum for vehicle production.

Novelis Inc., a sustainable aluminum solutions provider based in Atlanta, will invest $2.5 billion into the new low-carbon recycling and rolling plant.

The Associated Press reported May 11 that work already started at the site, near Interstate 65, and the company said it expects the construction project to be a 30-month-long effort, culminating in an estimated plant opening in 2025.

Novelis, with more than $17 billion in net sales, is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited and the main metals company of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate with headquarters in Mumbai, India.

"Through this investment, we are making a demonstrative commitment to continue to grow alongside our customers and meet their needs for low-carbon, highly sustainable aluminum solutions," said Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis in a statement.

The plant will be primarily powered with renewable energy, use recycled water and be a zero-waste facility, according to a news release from the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance (BCEDA). In addition, BCEDA noted that Novelis is committed to being a carbon-neutral company by 2050 or sooner and plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2026.

The new Alabama facility also will be the most sophisticated and sustainable of its kind, according to BCEDA, and will produce an initial 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum goods capacity per year, though Fisher said he anticipates expanding that output.

"With this massive investment and large-scale hiring plans, Novelis will launch a high-tech aluminum mill that will generate significant economic impacts throughout the region for generations," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. "Novelis is a world-class company, and we know that it has selected a prime location in ‘Sweet Home Alabama,' and specifically Baldwin County, as home for its growth plans."

Salaries at the Baldwin County plant are expected to average $65,000 annually.

Novelis also is unveiling plans to develop an Advanced Manufacturing and Leadership Training Center in Daphne, Ala., BCEDA announced. The leadership center will be built at the Daphne Innovation + Science Complex along Ala. Route 181.

"Baldwin County's accelerated growth and forward-thinking leadership has made it possible to attract Novelis, a world-class company, to our community," shared Lee Lawson, president and CEO of the BCEDA. "The economic and generational impact this investment will have on Baldwin County will help further diversify and grow our economy for years to come."

The South Alabama Mega Site in Baldwin County is located in the southwestern part of the state, 35 mi. northeast of Mobile, near the Gulf Coast.

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