New Plant Expected to Recycle 100 Million Pounds of Aluminum Each Year
CLEVELAND--Alcoa (NYSE: AA) announced today that its $21 million Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products casthouse expansion at its Barberton, Ohio plant is expected to cut in half the total amount of energy used to recycle aluminum for forged wheels, reducing greenhouse gases and increasing the overall efficiency and sustainability of the company’s manufacturing process. The recycling facility, the first of its kind in North America, uses advanced technology to produce wheels from re-melted and scrap aluminum. Construction of the 50,000-square-foot facility began in July 2011. It is now up and running at full capacity and has created more than 30 full-time jobs.
“Alcoa’s casthouse brings ‘green’ technology and new manufacturing jobs to Northeast Ohio,” said Tim Myers, President, Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. “Sustainability is integrated into Alcoa’s business strategy, and this facility allows us to take our recycling practices to a new level, recycling 100 million pounds of scrap aluminum each year in a more energy efficient way.”
One-hundred million pounds of recycled scrap aluminum is enough to make two million new Alcoa forged aluminum wheels. The casthouse takes chips and solids from an existing Alcoa wheel machining plant on the same campus in Barberton, as well as from Alcoa’s Cleveland forging plant, and recycles them into aluminum billets. The billets are then shipped to other wheel-processing facilities to forge into aluminum wheels.
The casthouse is expected to significantly reduce energy use through a combination of process improvements and reduced transportation needs. The facility is located on the campus of an existing production facility, which has led to dramatic reductions in transportation needs, leading to an approximately 90 percent cut in transportation-related energy use. Additionally, Alcoa’s aluminum wheels offer advantages to the environment and the consumer. Aluminum wheels reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, which significantly improves fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
“This new, more energy-efficient facility makes our 100 percent recyclable aluminum wheels even more environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Anton, Alcoa’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “This project is also part of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, through which we will share best practices – such as linking energy goals to compensation – to help other companies reduce their industrial energy intensity.”
The Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge is a program that helps sustainable companies identify innovative energy efficient solutions for their buildings and plants. President Obama launched the Better Buildings Challenge to help America’s commercial and industrial buildings become at least 20 percent more efficient over the next decade. As a Better Buildings Challenge partner, Alcoa works with the Energy Department to implement energy savings practices that reduce energy waste and save money. As part of this program, Alcoa also shares facility-level energy use data and successful strategies with other Better Buildings Challenge partners and U.S. businesses and organizations – helping to lead a clean, sustainable energy economy.
About Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products
Alcoa Wheel & Transportation Products, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, serves the commercial vehicle, automotive, and defense markets with products used in a range of applications including forged aluminum wheels, premium products such as Dura-Bright®, Dura-Flange®, LvL ONE® and M-Series™ medium truck wheels, as well as a variety of other aluminum components for these markets. AWTP is composed of three divisions: Commercial Vehicle Wheels, Forged Specialty Wheels and Transportation Products. It employs 1,600 people at 14 locations worldwide. More information can be found at www.alcoawheels.com.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 125 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 11 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 30 countries across the world. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow Alcoa on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.