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Novelis to expand its Latchford plant by more than a third

An aluminium recycling plant in Warrington is to be expanded at a cost of £6m.

Aluminium rolling and recycling firm Novelis announced that the expansion of its Latchford plant has been commissioned and claimed it will become Europe’s largest closed-loop recycling operation for automotive aluminium rolled products.

The plant processes 160,000 tonnes of aluminium annually, but this is expected to expand to 220,000 tonnes. The facility currently employs 135 people and this is expected to increase by more than 30.

New equipment includes a dedicated furnace, upgraded casting system, magnetic separation and handling equipment and environmental controls.

Industry demand for automotive aluminium sheet, especially from Jaguar Land Rover, one of Novelis’ main customers, is the main target of the expansion.

During the recycling process the scrap is re-melted and cast into 10-12 tonne ingots, each saving approximately 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to ingots produced from primary aluminium, according to Novelis.

Novelis also claims the expansion will result in nearly 530,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas savings over the total aluminium value chain compared to using primary aluminium.

Erwin Mayr, senior vice president and president at Novelis Europe, said: “With the commissioning in Latchford, we are expanding our recycling capabilities and developing efficient manufacturing systems along our automotive supply chain.

“Responding to the realities of our increasingly resource constrained world and demands for a more sustainable economy, Novelis is transforming its business model to be largely based on closed-loop recycling.”

Novelis aims to increase its recycling capacity to 2.1 million tonnes by 2015 and to increase the recycled content of its products to 80% by 2020. 

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