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Novelis to build new $120M production line at Oswego plant, add 90 jobs

By Eric Reinhardt


OSWEGO — Novelis, a manufacturer of rolled aluminum and the world’s largest aluminum recycler, today announced it will invest about $120 million to install a third aluminum automotive-sheet finishing line at its Oswego plant.

The company will also expand its recycling operations for automotive scrap, while making other system and facility upgrades, Novelis said in a news release. The firm will add 90 new jobs at the plant, which currently employs about 930 people.

The expansion will increase the company’s North American automotive-sheet capacity to more than 400,000 metric tons in just two years. When complete, the Oswego facility will allocate 80 percent of its total capacity to serving the automotive market, the company said.

In addition to incentives from the state of New York and Empire State Development, the Oswego Industrial Development Agency is providing additional support for this investment, Novelis said in the release. It didn’t detail the incentives, including dollar amounts.

The Oswego expansion is part of a total $205 million investment to further expand Novelis’ global manufacturing operations serving the growing automotive market.

The company said it will also build a new finishing line at a plant in Nachterstedt, Germany, dedicated to producing aluminum automotive sheet.

The new lines in Oswego and Germany will each have a capacity of 120,000 metric tons per year, according to Novelis.

Novelis says the expansion is needed to accommodate automakers’ growing demand for aluminum sheet, which the company expects to grow by more than 30 percent per year through the end of the decade. When the new lines are commissioned in late 2015, Novelis’ global automotive-sheet capacity will reach about 900,000 tons per year, a three-fold increase from just a year ago.

Auto manufacturers are turning to aluminum sheet “at a dramatically increasing rate for structural components and exterior body panels” because of its low weight and recyclability, Novelis said in the release.

The company contends that its aluminum is used in more than 180 different vehicle models produced by leading automakers around the world.

“With the addition of these two new lines, we have invested nearly $550 million to expand Novelis’ global automotive capacity in the last two years alone,” Phil Martens, Novelis president and CEO, said in the news release.

Novelis is investing around the globe to boost its automotive-finishing capabilities. In addition to the two new lines announced today, the company recently commissioned two new finishing lines at the Oswego plant. And, it has a new plant under construction in Changzhou, China, which is expected to start production in mid-2014. The company also recently certified automotive production at its Gottingen, Germany, plant that complements the company’s existing automotive facilities in Kingston, Ontario; Sierre, Switzerland; and Nachterstedt, Germany.

Novelis operates in nine countries, has about 11,000 employees, and reported revenue of $9.8 billion in its 2013 fiscal year.

The company is part of the Aditya Birla Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Mumbai, India.


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