OSWEGO — One of Oswego County’s largest employers is expanding again.
Novelis, Inc. announced plans this week to invest approximately $130 million in upgrades to its Oswego County operations. Novelis says the planned enhancements are aimed at meeting growing customer demand for sustainable, aluminum at rolled products.
“By investing in modern, energy efficient upgrades in Oswego, we aim to sustain and grow important partnerships with our valued customers,” said Tom Boney, executive vice president and president at Novelis North America. “These upgrades also strengthen Novelis’ ability to thrive in Oswego as a great place to work and a partner to the community.”
Novelis said the upcoming project would allow the facility to increase hot mill capacity by 124,000 metric tons at the plan, which serves the can, automotive and specialty products markets, in addition to enhancing finishing capabilities for automotive sheet.
State Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, said the expansion is “truly a win” for the communities surrounding the plant and the consumers that rely on Novelis’ products, adding he is eager to see the project develop.
“Novelis’ plan to bolster its investment in Oswego County represents a tremendous opportunity for our region,” Barclay said. “Its commitment to upgrading operations and equipment in Oswego is indicative of its confidence in the facility and employees, and the plant’s long-term success.”
Barclay also expressed appreciation for Novelis’ focus on energy efficiency and sustainability, which he said is critical for any business looking to grow in today’s market and into the future.
According to the Atlanta-based company, the investment will cover upgrades to the plant’s hot reversing mill motors and drive train, hot finishing mill coolant systems and enhancement of batch annealing capabilities.
The project is also aimed at improving energy efficiency at the plant as part of Novelis’ goal to reduce energy use by 10 percent before 2026.
Oswego County Legislature Chairman James Weatherup, R-Central Square, called the Novelis announcement “awesome,” and said the $130 million is a strong sign the company remains dedicated to Oswego County.
“It reaffirms their commitment to Oswego County and our commitment to them,” Weatherup said. “They’re a major employer in the county, and if you’re going to put $130 million into your plan that is a real good sign that they intend to stay here. So that’s a great thing.”
Weatherup said county officials are very excited about the Novelis expansion and remain willing to accommodate the company to keep them in the area and keep local residents employed.
In a press release, the company said the investment would further strengthen the plant’s position for additional recycled aluminum inputs and increased recycled content across its product lines in the future.
Novelis said construction would begin in spring 2022 and the project is expected to be complete in 2024.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow called the announcement “great news for Oswego County,” and pointed out Novelis has continually invested in expansion at the local plant.
“Novelis has long been a great partner to local government, provides good paying jobs to residents and contributes greatly to the economy of our region,” Barlow said.
The most recent Novelis investment comes after an expansion of automotive finishing capabilities and recycling capacity in Oswego over the past decade, according to the company. Those investments included the addition of more than 300,000 metric tons of “state-of-the-art automotive finishing capacity” and the expansion of the recycling center, which processes approximately 25 million pounds of automotive aluminum scrap each month.
Novelis said using recycled aluminum requires less energy and water and avoids a significant percentage of the greenhouse gas emissions included in primary aluminum production.