Novelis, Inc. announces $2.5 billion investment in South Alabama Mega Site
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) - Baldwin County made a huge announcement Wednesday, May 11, 2022 that will have a huge economic impact on the whole region. Leading aluminum recycler and manufacturer, Novelis will make a $2.5 billion investment as the anchor tenant to the South Alabama Mega Site.
Get to know the name, Novelis. It will soon become synonymous with the daily lives of hundreds of soon-to-be employees at its facility north of Bay Minette. Others may not know the name, but assuredly know and use its products. From soda and beer cans to pickup truck beds and aircraft components, chances are Novelis made those products out of recycled aluminum.
The company will need 1,000 employees to operate its state-of-the-art plant and President of North American Operations for Novelis, Tom Boney said the search for them has already begun.
“We’re actively looking for some key roles and responsibilities right now,” Boney said. “We’ll be announcing that, hopefully before the end of this month and we’re going to start turning dirt in approximately two and a half months, I think is the current schedule and we’ll start hiring of shopping for employees very early in the project.”
President of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, Lee Lawson played a critical role in landing Novelis at the Mega Site. He said this addition to the county will have a generational economic impact that will be felt for decades to come.
“When you talk about spending in the billions of dollars Hal, I mean that just ripples through a community and reverberates through a community more than anything you can imagine and I can’t wait for the after-fact to be able to say, here’s all the local suppliers and regional suppliers that got a piece of this project and it’s made their business better,” Lawson explained.
The company’s initial footprint on the Mega Site property will be a thousand acres and will be the first fully integrated aluminum mill built in the United States in 40 years. It will use recycled water and be a zero-waste facility.
Word of the new neighbor traveled quickly through north Baldwin County. Larry Vaughn is a plumber by trade, and with the addition of Novelis, he sees a bright future for the area.
“It gives me pride. I can take pride. You know, it’s going to help the school systems here. We got to think about our children’s futures here. Think about the future for them. They’ll be able to get a job. They’ll be able to raise a family here, local,” Vaughn said.
Groundbreaking is expected in early summer and the plant should be in operation in 2025.
The North American headquarters for Novelis is in Atlanta but it operates on four continents. The company plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 30-percent by 2026 and be carbon neutral by 2050.
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