The new facility cost the company $12 million and is claimed to represent the largest single investment by the American recycling giant in the last 10 years.

Novelis regards the expanded facility at Pieve to be a key part of its drive to enhance the competitiveness of its Italian operations.

Erwin Mayr, senior vice president of Novelis and president of Novelis Europe, said, "This investment reflects Novelis' ongoing commitment to our high recycled content strategy, to the environment and, importantly, to our longstanding operations here in Italy."

According to Mayr, the opening of the new line increases recycling and casting capacity at the plant and contributes to the company's global goal of increasing the recycled contents of its products from 43% to 80% by 2020.

The Pieve plant has over 50 years' experience of rolling and recycling aluminium. Gianmatteo Martinelli, the plant manager, said the investment and the wider programme in Italy will strengthen Novelis' operations in Italy and bring new sustainable manufacturing processes to the region.

The new line incorporates advanced technology, developed by Novelis PAE, that enables Novelis to recycle scrap into high quality aluminium sheet ready for further processing in facilities in Italy and Germany.