In response to the growing demand in South America, Novelis announced on May 27 that it will invest approximately $300 million to expand its aluminum rolling operations in Pindamonhangaba, Brazil.,
The expansion will increase the plant's capacity by more than 50% to over 600,000 metric tons of aluminum sheet per year. The project, which includes the addition of a third cold rolling mill, a new ingot casting center, a new pusher furnace for the hot rolling mill and various ancillary improvements, is expected to come on stream in late 2012.
Novelis also operates a foil mill at Santo Andre, Brazil, two aluminum smelters at Ouro Preto and Aratu, and nine hydroelectric plants located throughout the state of Minas Gerais.
"Growing per capita income and changes in consumer behavior are driving double-digit growth in demand for beverage cans. Many of our South American customers are accelerating their investments in can making plants and our expansion at Pindamonhangaba will allow us to stay ahead of that demand,"said Phil Martens, President, Novelis.
According to Abralatas (Brazilian Association of Highly Recyclable Cans Manufacturers), can sales in Brazil grew by 11.7% in 2009, representing a consumption of 14.8 billion units or 40.5 million aluminum cans per day.
The aluminum can is also a recycling success story in Brazil where the recycling rate is currently estimated at better than 91%, placing Brazil among the world leaders in beverage can recycling. Novelis is South America's largest recycler of cans, processing about 8 billion cans in 2009, providing both economic and environmental benefits.