Erwin Mayr, Senior Vice President of Novelis and President of Novelis Europe, made the symbolic shovel turn with Reiner Haseloff, Prime Minister of the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The EUR 62 million expansion is in response to the steadily growing demand for aluminium automotive sheet for lightweight vehicle structures and body panels. The new line will add 120,000 metric tons of annual capacity to the Nachterstedt plant’s automotive output. Novelis expects demand for aluminium automotive sheet in Europe to increase by an average of 15% per year over the next five years as carmakers focus on strategies to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

The expansion, which is scheduled to come on line in the second half of 2015, will create up to 120 new jobs and boost Novelis’ annual automotive production capacity for aluminium sheet in Europe to well over 350,000 metric tons.

The new production line will make use of the existing infrastructure, specialized staff and logistics solutions in order to generate extensive synergies. In addition to existing automotive capacity at the Nachterstedt plant, Novelis also produces automotive sheet at its Sierre, Switzerland, and Goettingen, Germany, plants.

“This investment will enable us to strengthen our leading market position in the automotive sector and enhance our position as a strong partner of the automobile industry”, said Mayr. “Novelis is committed to meeting the growing demand in this market and we’re aggressively increasing our capacity to produce automotive sheet in Europe and across the globe.”