Atlanta-based Novelis Inc. has announced plans to build an approximately $300 million automotive aluminum sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky. The greenfield facility, with a projected annual capacity of 200,000 metric tons, will include heat treatment and pre-treatment lines designed to prepare aluminum for use in vehicle parts such as hoods, doors, lift gates and fenders. The company expects to break ground in the early spring of 2018 and to open the plant in 2020.
The new facility will be near Logan Aluminum Inc., a Novelis joint venture in Russellville, Kentucky, with a large melt shop that currently produces alloys for beverage can production. In October 2015, Logan Aluminum announced an expansion project that one of its executives indicated would provide it “with greater commercial flexibility by extending the breadth of our product offering to other markets, including automotive.”
“Today’s announcement by Novelis to expand its capabilities in North America is a strategic decision fully supported by the Aditya Birla Group to maintain the group’s leadership position in the global metals sector and its ongoing commitment to serve both upstream and downstream customers,” says Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the board of directors of Novelis Inc. and chairman of the board of directors of Hindalco Industries Limited. “We are immensely proud of this latest investment and look forward to seeing it flourish.”
In a news release announcing the project, Novelis refers to the Guthrie plant as “the latest addition to Novelis’ extensive network of automotive finishing lines.” The company cites a recent study forecasting that aluminum content in North American passenger vehicles “will increase 42 percent from its 2015 level by the year 2028.”
“Aluminum is a growing material of choice for the automotive industry worldwide, as auto manufacturers continue to demand more and more aluminum to produce lighter, safer and stronger cars, trucks and SUVs,” says Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis Inc. “Novelis will continue to innovate alongside our automotive customers to lightweight the vehicles of today while looking ahead to meet the mobility needs of the fleet-based economies of tomorrow.”
The company indicates that more than 200 different vehicle models produced in recent years contain Novelis aluminum, and that the company has worked with automakers including Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, and Toyota.
Atlanta-based Novelis operates in 10 countries, has approximately 11,000 employees and had $10 billion in revenue in its 2017 fiscal year. It is a subsidiary of India-based Hindalco Industries Limited, which is part of the Mumbai, India-based Aditya Birla Group.