The company last week said its new $22m project at its Can Reclamation facility at its Tennessee Operations will result in significant energy savings and emission reductions for the firm. The company claims its Tennessee Operations, based in Blount County, Tennessee, is the world's largest producer of rolled aluminium can sheet for beverage cans. The news comes as aluminium packaging manufacturers are facing higher input costs, including a record rise in the cost for aluminium, which remained at an average of US$2,770 per tonne for the first six months of the year. These price pressures are also being felt by beverage manufacturers, who are having to fork out more for their drink cans following the implementation of packaging price increases. According to Alcoa, its recycling investment includes a new crusher and delacquering furnace and supporting building enclosures, utilities and environmental systems. Implementation of the project is expected to increase UBC (used beverage can) molten output capacity by nearly 50 per cent. Recycling aluminium saves 95 per cent of the energy needed to make new cans; the material can be recycled over and over again, resulting in significant energy savings and emission reductions. "This upgrade will help increase capacity using state-of-the-art environmental and fuel efficiency technologies as well as support future flexibility to process other aluminum scrap types," said Greg Wittbecker, Alcoa director corporate metal recycling strategy. Alcoa said it projects it will recycle nearly 14 billion aluminium cans in 2007. The Can Reclamation project is expected to be completed over the next 12 to 18 months.