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Home > Resources > News > Blog: Novelis underscores commitment to decarbonization in new partnership with Southern Company
By Suzanne Lindsay-Walker, Vice President Sustainability
Anyone familiar with Novelis knows we are a company truly committed to our purpose of Shaping a Sustainable World Together. We are constantly seeking ways to improve our processes, explore new avenues of innovation, and partner with like-minded companies toward an objective of reducing our CO2 footprint.
That aspiration is reflected in a forward-thinking partnership with Southern Company that focuses on decarbonization efforts at our aluminum recycling and rolling plant being built in Bay Minette, Alabama. The recently announced agreement leverages Southern Company’s global leading expertise in identifying and implementing the energy industry’s best carbon reduction solutions for the aluminum industry.
The Bay Minette facility will help meet growing demand for more sustainable beverage packaging and support the North American automotive industry, including the increase in electric vehicle production. To do so, Novelis will produce approximately 600 kilotonnes of finished aluminum goods per year (at full ramp) – and we aim to meet that production goal while also achieving carbon neutrality for Scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions.
One key to that objective is the renewable energy that Southern Company subsidiary, Alabama Power, will supply to the Bay Minette plant. Novelis is providing direct financial support for two 80-megawatt solar power generation plants that are major infrastructure components to deliver carbon-free electricity to the facility.
The goal is to use the sun’s free, abundant and clean energy for more than half of the Bay Minette facility’s renewable energy needs while eliminating an estimated 192 kilotons of CO2 emissions that would result from legacy power generation resources annually.
But that’s just the first step…
The partnership will also support testing and evaluation of new technologies for low-carbon aluminum production that may be implemented in Bay Minette and perhaps other Novelis facilities globally with a goal of further reducing Novelis’ Scope 1 emissions. Southern Company has done long-term testing of more than 75 carbon capture technologies, simulating different impurities, stack gases and other variables. This work has generated significant data about which technologies are best suited for a given manufacturing environment, and Novelis will have access to that expertise to inform potential implementation at Bay Minette and elsewhere.
Complementing those efforts, Novelis will also draw on Southern Company’s expertise in carbon sequestration, energy storage, electrification of thermal processes and other promising advancements that are being considered for Bay Minette.
Our intention is to make the plant the first-of-its-kind to operate entirely on decarbonized electricity, reflective of our position as one of the world’s leading sustainable aluminum solutions providers.
This is one of several Novelis green energy projects under way globally. We built our first onsite solar park in Pieve, Italy, earlier this year; we are testing the use of hydrogen-fueled recycling furnaces at Novelis Latchford in Warrington, UK; we installed nearly 1,000 photovoltaic solar panels at 14 used beverage can collection centers across Brazil, aiming to make them self-sufficient for power needs and reducing their carbon footprint; and we launched a collaboration to provide solar power for the community in Sierre, Switzerland, from the 5,000 square meters of solar panels installed atop our plant.
We still have many solutions to implement on our way to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner and the commitment to Bay Minette is an important step in that direction. We look forward to taking what we learn there and adapting it to support decarbonization of our facilities and those of other companies along the global supply chain.