Novelis Inc. broke ground on a $36 million investment to expand and upgrade recycling capacity at its Greensboro, Ga., facility. The project includes adding state-of-the-art equipment for aluminum scrap recycling, a new baghouse for improved dust mitigation and enhanced designs for safer and more efficient traffic flow. The company expects to complete the project by fall 2021. The investment will expand the company’s capabilities in automotive closed-loop recycling, a process to take aluminum scrap created during stamping and recycle it for new vehicle production. Closing the loop preserves the value of the alloy, reduces cost, minimizes environmental impact and establishes a secure supply chain.
Pyrotek Inc. is scheduled to complete construction of a new manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in November to serve and supply the rapidly growing aluminum smelting operations of the region. The first phase of construction will provide 66,000 square feet of floor space, and there is enough land at the site to allow for an eventual doubling of the plant footprint. Spokane, Wash.-based Pyrotek is scheduled to occupy the facility in January 2020.
Novelis Inc. announced that the European Commission has approved its proposed acquisition of Aleris Corp. The approval is conditioned upon the sale of Aleris' plant in Duffel, Belgium, which produces aluminum for the automotive and specialties markets. Novelis is working to market the plant to potential buyers. With this conditional approval in the European Union, as well as a clear path forward for approval in the U.S., the Atlanta-based company continues to work closely with the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) to receive its approval. According to Novelis, the transaction will strengthen its ability to compete against steel in the automotive market, meet growing customer demand for aluminum and achieve its recycling goals.
Alcoa Corp. announced that, effective Nov. 1, 2019, it will implement a new operating model that will result in a leaner, more integrated, operator-centric organization that accelerates the company’s strategic priorities. Alcoa will eliminate its business-unit structure and consolidate sales, procurement and other commercial capabilities at an enterprise level. Under the new operating model, the Alcoa Executive Team will also be streamlined from 12 to seven direct reports to the CEO.
Novelis Inc. reaffirmed its full commitment to closing its proposed acquisition of Aleris Corp., a global supplier of rolled aluminum products, notwithstanding the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit to block the transaction. Atlanta, Ga.-based Novelis intends to vigorously defend against the DOJ's challenge, which it believes is without merit. Novelis announced in July 2018 that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cleveland, Ohio-based Aleris for approximately $2.6 billion.
Novelis Inc. announced a collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) to establish the Novelis Innovation Hub at Georgia Tech. The company will invest $2.5 million to initiate research, faculty, student and educational program support. The collaboration will promote aluminum research, innovative business models and related educational endeavors at Georgia Tech and will serve as a cross-functional hub connecting Novelis’ technical and business innovators with Georgia Tech’s students and faculty.
Alcoa Corp. announced that the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. (ABI) smelter plans to restart curtailed smelting capacity after members of the United Steelworkers union in Quebec approved a six-year labor agreement. The smelter, which is owned by Alcoa (74.95%) and Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. (25.05%), has total capacity of 413,000 metric tons per year. The restart will begin on July 26 and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2020.
The Aluminum Association released “The Aluminum Agenda: A Policy Roadmap for a Competitive U.S. Aluminum Industry,” which lays out principles and policy goals for a sustainable U.S. aluminum sector in the 21st century. The document was developed in consultation with aluminum companies spanning the entire industry value chain.
Braidy Industries Inc. and En+ Group plc announced the execution of a Letter of Intent specifying basic terms for a potential $200 million lead investment for its Braidy Atlas mill in Ashland, Ky., by En+ Group subsidiary United Company RUSAL plc (Rusal). The strategic partnership aims to create the first low-carbon-impact industrial aluminum rolling-mill operation in the world. Braidy will be the first North American company to contract Rusal’s premier ALLOW-branded (certified low-carbon) aluminum slabs and P1020 as its exclusive primary inputs. According to Braidy, no U.S. domestic smelter currently delivers low-carbon primary aluminum slabs.
Arconic Inc. will invest approximately $100 million to expand its hot-mill capability and add downstream equipment capabilities to manufacture industrial and automotive aluminum products in its Tennessee Operations facility near Knoxville, Tenn. The project, which is expected to create 70 new jobs, is already under way and should be complete by the fourth quarter of 2020.