Braidy Industries Inc. will build a $1.3 billion aluminum mill and create 550 advanced manufacturing jobs in Greenup County, KY to produce sheet and plate for the automotive and aerospace industries.
The company will begin construction on a 2.5 million-square-foot facility on more than 300 acres near South Shore in early 2018, with completion in 2020. Initially, the facility will produce about 370,000 tons of aluminum per year for the automotive and aerospace industries, with opportunities to expand over time.
“Braidy Industries’ decision to locate in Eastern Kentucky has the potential to be as significant as any economic deal ever made in the history of Kentucky,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “This $1.3 billion investment will create enormous opportunity for people in the region, and would not have been possible without our recently passed right-to-work legislation. I look forward to the success of Braidy Industries as they leverage the incredible work ethic found in Eastern Kentucky. The ripple effect of this investment will be significant and will produce positive change in the region for generations to come.”
Craig Bouchard, Braidy Industries chairman and CEO, said the new plant will both revitalize the region and raise the bar for aluminum production globally.
“Our team recognizes an opportunity to make incredible impacts both in the global aluminum industry and in bringing well-paying jobs to Eastern Kentucky in the heart of Appalachia,” Bouchard said. “The state’s willingness to partner closely with private industry makes this a prime location to found and grow our world-class and cutting-edge rolling mill.”
Bouchard founded Braidy Industries earlier this year. He chose Greenup County for its strengths as a location for metal production as well as to spearhead an economic revival in Eastern Kentucky. Bouchard’s team includes experts in the aluminum industry, metallurgical research, international business and a range of other disciplines.
Dr. Michael E. Porter, professor at Harvard Business School and a global expert on competitiveness and economic development, serves as a Braidy Industries board member. Porter assisted the company in assessing Kentucky’s competitive advantage versus other potential locations.
“Eastern Kentucky has significant competitive advantages, including its proximity to the leading automotive and aerospace customers, low energy costs and a skilled and available workforce for heavy manufacturing,” Porter said. “The decision to locate in Greenup County will provide an opportunity for Braidy Industries and the community to work together to transform the region’s business environment as well as attract related companies.”
The project holds the promise of transforming the region, according to Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Sec. Terry Gill.
“Both in the immediacy and over the coming decades, Braidy Industries’ investment – and the jobs its high-tech mill will create – promise to make a tremendous positive impact on Greenup County and Kentucky’s eastern region,” said Gill. “In bringing us to today’s announcement, major efforts by local, regional and state partners, including the Legislature’s actions to improve Kentucky’s business climate, proved key. In its entirety, this work helps us deliver the clear message that Kentucky is open for business.”
The company’s presence will set off an economic cascade, said Matthew J. Satterwhite, president and COO of AEP Kentucky Power.
“With this game-changing project in Greenup County, Braidy Industries will positively affect all of Eastern Kentucky, both directly and by attracting other automotive and aerospace-related manufacturers,” said Satterwhite. “I’m enthusiastic about the future of our region and will be working alongside Braidy Industries as an economic development partner to ensure its success. Get ready Eastern Kentucky, Braidy Industries is just the first company moving in for what is the best kept secret in the country – the skilled available workforce in our region.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $10 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
In addition, Braidy Industries can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network, which offers no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2016, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for nearly 95,000 Kentuckians and 5,000 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
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