LONDON (Reuters) - Alvance, the aluminium business of British commodities tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, plans to nearly double production to 80,000 tonnes a year by 2024 at its UK operations in Scotland, it said on Tuesday.
The company aims to invest 94 million pounds in a new recycling and casting facility in Fort William, Scotland that will increase annual production from the current level of just over 40,000 tonnes, a statement said.
Alvance said it will seek local regulatory approval to build a new recycling plant instead of a previously-planned alloy wheels factory "due to a significant decline in the UK automotive sector".
The new plant will recycle domestic scrap aluminium that is currently exported to make billets for the construction sector.
"Fortunately, the construction industry is buoyant and is using ever more aluminium billet," said Brian King, Chairman of Alvance British Aluminium.
The company also aims to build a facility to package mineral water produced in Scotland into aluminium cans as an alternative to plastic bottles.
The plans will help the GFG Alliance, a conglomerate which holds the Gupta family operations, move towards its target to be carbon neutral by 2030. Making recycled aluminium uses about 5% of the energy needed for primary aluminium.
Paris-headquartered Alvance said in September it was on the lookout for takeovers to triple production to 1 million tonnes annually of primary aluminium and create a vertically-integrated group.
Alvance, with about 1,700 workers, owns Europe's largest aluminium smelter in Dunkirk, and agreed last December to buy the Duffel aluminium plant in Belgium from Novelis <NVLXC.UL>, which mainly produces products for the auto sector.
(Reporting by Eric Onstad, editing by Louise Heavens)