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Novelis to build aluminum auto sheet plant in China

Novelis broke ground on the company’s first aluminum manufacturing plant in China. The $100 million investment is designed to meet the rapidly growing demand for rolled aluminum used in the design of a new generation of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The wholly owned plant under construction in Changzhou in the Jiangsu Province, will have a capacity of 120,000 metric tons per year, further strengthening Novelis’ position as the world’s largest producer of aluminum sheet products used to create vehicle structures and body panels. Startup of the new facility, the industry’s first automotive sheet plant in China, is planned for late 2014.

Located in the heart of the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District, the new facility will be close to vital rail lines, the Changzhou deep water port on the Yangtze River and other world-class business and commercial infrastructure. The company plans to ship rolled aluminum coils manufactured at its South Korean operations to the new facility in Changzhou for heat treatment and finishing before delivery to automotive customers within China as well as to export markets.

James Liu, Managing director for Novelis China, says the expansion is in direct response to customer demand. “Our close relationships with world class automakers are driving our long term strategy to support their vehicle production expansions around the globe. We expect demand for automotive aluminum sheet in China to exceed the 25 percent compound annual growth rate expected across the globe over the next five years, as auto manufacturers strive for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.”

Sustainable manufacturing is a core focus for Novelis’ entrance into China, and the company is designing its new facility according to rigorous environmental design, construction and operational standards.