Novelis has broken ground on the $180m expansion of its automotive aluminium manufacturing facility in Changzhou, China.
The expansion will double the facility’s production capacity of heat-treated aluminium sheet by 100,000 tonnes and help meet the growing demand for automotive aluminium in Asia.
The facility will feature a high-speed slitter and a fully automated packaging line.
The expansion will allow Novelis to increase the production of innovative aluminium solutions for automotive manufacturers to develop the next-generation of safer, stronger and lighter vehicles.
The expansion project, which is expected to create 160 jobs, is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The Changzhou facility will continue to partner with customers to launch their high-performance aluminium-intensive vehicles in Asia.
Previous partner launches include: Cadillac CT6; CJLR’s Jaguar XFL and XEL; premium new-energy vehicle (NEV) NIO’s ES8 SUV; FAW-Volkswagen Audi A6L; and HMC’s IONIQ and Kona electric vehicle (EV) models.
Hindalco Industries managing director Satish Pai said: “As market demand for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles continues to grow, Novelis will play a critical role in supporting the next generation of automotive innovation and design.
“This expansion reinforces our steadfast commitment to our customers and communities, and reaffirms our continued confidence in this ever-growing market.”
The $100m Changzhou plant, the company’s first wholly owned aluminium automotive sheet manufacturing facility in China, was commissioned in 2014 with an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes.
The plant is located in the heart of the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District and provides customers in China and abroad with high-quality automotive sheet for use in lightweight vehicle structures and body panels with heat treatment and finishing capabilities.
According to Novelis, the Chinese automotive aluminium market is expected to achieve double-digit growth in the next decade as a result of government policies to lower carbon emissions and increased adoption of EVs.
Novelis China managing director and vice president of Novelis’ automotive business in Asia James Liu said: “This investment in Changzhou will allow us to better serve our automotive customers by providing world-class manufacturing capabilities, products that meet global quality standards, and innovative solutions to make vehicles lighter, safer and stronger.”
Image: Novelis breaks ground on $180m expansion of automotive aluminium facility in China. Photo: Courtesy of Novelis Inc.