Aluminum rolling and recycling specialist Novelis plans to create a continuous annealing solution heat (CASH) treatment line in order to add 100 kilotons to its aluminum production capacity. This expansion of an existing facility is expected to begin in 2018 and be fully operational by 2020. The $180-million endeavor will include a fully automated packaging line and a high-speed slitter as well. This is Novelis’s second automotive investment for 2018, following a Kentucky manufacturing facility that is projected to cost $300 million.
Novelis has fully contracted its production capacity, and the company says this expansion is necessary to meet the growing global demand for automotive aluminum, which it expects to triple within eight years. This is especially true for China, which has the highest worldwide potential for growth. Analytics firm IHS Markit predicts that the Chinese demand for passenger vehicles will reach 34 million units by 2025, especially due to the growing EV market.
Clients of Novelis, including legacy automakers and EV startups, plan to launch several new products in 2020 and 2021.
“We believe China’s commitment to fuel efficiency and reducing emissions represents a large and favorable opportunity that will require greater adoption of aluminum, particularly in the rapidly growing electric vehicle market,” said Novelis CEO Steve Fisher.