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Posted by Heidi Schwartz
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and company officials have broken ground on the Constellium-UACJ Body-in-White plant in Bowling Green, KY. A joint venture between Constellium N.V. and UACJ Corporation, the $150 million aluminum production facility marks one of the largest investments in south central Kentucky in the past decade.
Constellium, a European aluminum company, and UACJ, a Japanese aluminum company, both will supply the aluminum coils that will then be treated and processed in Bowling Green. The partnership is expected to create 80 new jobs.
The demand for aluminum sheets is growing as more automotive manufacturers are switching to aluminum from steel. Aluminum allows vehicles to be lighter, which helps manufacturers comply with new federal fuel standards.
Construction on the facility will be designed to allow for future expansion. The companies chose Bowling Green for many reasons, including its location to customers and highly skilled workforce.
“This huge investment will further solidify our role as a key player in the auto industry. I want to thank Constellium N.V. and UACJ Corporation for locating here, and I look forward to seeing the impact of this operation,” said Gov. Beshear.
“This project is highly strategic and it is the first milestone of an ambitious strategy to become a major player in the fast growing U.S. aluminum body sheet market,” said Constellium’s CEO Pierre Vareille.
“Bowling Green continues to attract great businesses to our community by offering a skilled workforce and great, centralized location,” said Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green. “I’m excited to watch this project come to fruition and see the impact it has on our community and our area.”
“Our corporate citizens are such an important part of the growth and development of our community,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “When we have a company that comes in ready to hit the ground running, we know that their dedication and investment will allow them to succeed here. The impact this joint venture will have on Bowling Green will be great, and I believe there is no limit to the success they will find here. We appreciate their confidence in our community and look forward to working with them in the future.”
“The Tennessee Valley Authority congratulates Constellium and UACJ Corporation on this announcement to invest $150 million to build an aluminum production plant in Bowling Green,” said TVA senior vice president of economic development John Bradley. “TVA and Warren RECC are pleased to see companies invest and create new area jobs through our partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and Warren County officials.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in Warren County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $4.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also approved the company for tax benefits up to $1.5 million through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.