Constellium on Thursday announced it was in the advanced planning stages of an investment to increase its recycling capacity in Europe.

This project will be focused on using recycled material to provide slabs for the aluminium supplier's automotive and packaging businesses in Europe. This initiative is expected to add a minimum of 60 kt of annual capacity to Constellium's current recycling footprint, which, it claims, is already one of the largest in the world.

"We are excited about the potential to increase our recycling capacity in Europe. We already benefit from the inherently sustainable aspects of aluminium, including its strength, its light weight, and its infinite recyclability. An investment in expanding our recycling capacity is a strong demonstration of our commitment to sustainability. I expect this will be a meaningful contributor to both our financial and ESG objectives over time," said Jean-Marc Germain, Constellium CEO.

"Furthermore, aluminium is at the epicentre of several sustainability megatrends across our packaging, automotive, and transportation end markets. As a result, our customers are increasingly demanding products that are sustainably and responsibly produced. We expect this investment will provide opportunities for Constellium to expand its low-carbon product offerings to meet customer needs."

The inherently sustainable attributes of aluminium are driving increased demand for the advanced aluminium solutions produced by Constellium. In packaging, aluminium cans are the most recycled beverage containers, infinitely reborn in a "closed loop" process that has them back on the shelf in 60 days. In automotive and transportation, aluminium helps advance greener mobility by improving fuel economy, reducing CO2 emissions, increasing electric vehicle range, and improving safety.

Recycling scrap is critical to the aluminum life cycle. Using scrap reduces the need for primary aluminium and therefore minimises waste, avoids resource depletion, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions across a product's life cycle. Aluminium is infinitely and easily recyclable, with 75% of all aluminum ever produced still in use today. Using scrap aluminium is also more energy efficient and has a lower environmental impact than primary aluminium. Recycling scrap requires only 5% of the energy used to produce primary metal and delivers up to 95% in CO2 savings when compared to virgin material.

Constellium expects to finalise the scope and location of the project by the end of 2021, which will be dependent upon finalising engineering and obtaining required permits. Start of production is expected to begin within two years of when construction begins. Constellium will provide regular updates on this important strategic initiative.