Aluminum rolling, recycling facility to be built in Bay Minette
Published 10:59 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced today that an aluminum rolling and recycling facility plans to invest more than $2.5 billion to build a new low-carbon plant in Baldwin County.
According to a release, the new facility is owned by Atlanta-based Novelis, and will be located at the 3,000-acre south Alabama mega sit, located in Bay Minette. The investment will create approximately 1,000 jobs, which Novelis projects will pay an average annual salary of $65,000.
The Alabama facility — the first fully integrated aluminum mill built in the U.S. in 40 years — will leverage the company’s long-term relationships with leading beverage, packaging and automotive brands seeking sustainable aluminum solutions, according to a release.
“With this massive investment and these large-scale hiring plans, Novelis will launch a high-tech aluminum mill that will generate significant economic impacts throughout the region for generations,” Ivey said in a release. “Novelis is a world-class company, and we know that it has selected a prime location in Sweet Home Alabama and specifically Baldwin County as home for its growth plans.”
Novelis said the new plant will be the most sophisticated and sustainable of its kind and will have a strong focus on employee safety.
The facility will be powered with renewable energy, use recycled water and be a zero-waste facility. Novelis is committed to being a carbon-neutral company by 2050 and plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2026.
In addition, the Baldwin County plant will make use of advanced automation and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, augmented reality and robotics. The facility will have an initial 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum goods capacity per year.
“Through this investment, we are making a demonstrative commitment to continue to grow alongside our customers and meet their needs for low-carbon, highly sustainable aluminum solutions,” said Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis. “In addition, we are well positioned to efficiently expand capacity at this facility in the future — above the 600kt announced today — to capture ongoing strong demand. Our readiness to invest to serve growing markets is a perfect example of how we are delivering on our company purpose of shaping a sustainable world together.”
Site work is under way now, and Novelis expects to begin commissioning the facility in mid-2025. AIDT, Alabama’s primary workforce development agency, will assist Novelis in assembling and training a workforce for the facility.
“Novelis’ decision to locate the nation’s most technologically advanced aluminum mill in Baldwin County is a powerful testament to both the state’s attractive business climate and to the capabilities of our talented manufacturing workforce,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “The magnitude of this project makes it a game-changing development for Alabama’s industrial sector and a jobs engine for the region.”
Novelis serves customers from a wide variety of industries including beverage packaging, automotive, building and construction, aerospace and consumer electronics. The Baldwin County facility will primarily serve the growing beverage can market.
The plant will also serve the automotive market, where aluminum is the fastest growing material, as automakers make plans to achieve their sustainability goals. Aluminum produced by Novelis can be found in more than 225 vehicle models produced by leading automakers around the globe.
Baldwin County Commissioner Jeb Ball said the commission’s strategic investment in the South Alabama Mega Site “has come to fruition with this major investment by Novelis.”
“Having an innovative partner like Novelis located in North Baldwin County will propel our economy forward in new and exciting ways. We are honored to welcome the Novelis team to our community,” Ball said.
“Baldwin County’s accelerated growth and forward-thinking leadership has made it possible to attract Novelis, a world-class company, to our community,” added Lee Lawson, president and CEO of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance. “The economic and generational impact this investment will have on Baldwin County will help further diversify and grow our economy for years to come.”
Novelis also announced plans to develop an Advanced Manufacturing and Leadership Center of Excellence in Daphne, where best-in-class training will be provided to industry leaders across the company’s footprint. The leadership center will be located at the Daphne Innovation + Science Complex and will help push Baldwin County to the forefront of innovation in workforce training and leadership in the metals industry.