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Novelis opens world's biggest recycling plant

The world’s largest aluminium recycling facility has been opened by Novelis. 

The £160m complex has the capacity to process up to 400,000 tonnes – four times that of the group’s Warrington plant – and is sited next to the an existing rolling mill in Nachterstedt, Germany.

Novelis chief executive Phil Martens said the plant was part of the company’s drive to shift its business model from a traditional linear approach to a closed-loop model.

“This new facility further strengthens Novelis’ leadership in Europe and, together with our major recycling operations in Asia, North America and South America, solidifies Novelis’ position as the global aluminium recycling leader,” he said.

Since 2011, the company said it has doubled its global recycling capacity to 2.1 million tonnes a year and raised its recycled content from 30% to 46%. Its goal is to achieve 80% recycled content by 2020.

“This strategy will enable us to accelerate and capitalise on the sustainability potential of aluminium as a lightweight, infinitely recyclable metal and to dramatically reduce the embedded carbon in our products,” said Martens. “In an increasingly energy- and carbon-constrained environment, we are convinced it will be a key source of competitive advantage for our company and for our customers.”

The Nachterstedt Recycling Center features the latest technology for scrap sorting, de-coating, melting and casting. Approximately 200 employees will work there.

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