Arconic Inc. is investing approximately $100 million to expand its hot mill capability and add downstream equipment capabilities to manufacture industrial and automotive aluminum sheet products in its Tennessee Operations facility near Knoxville, Tennessee. The company already has customer commitments for the majority of the increased capacity, with the remainder to be filled by projected demand. The project is expected to create 70 new jobs.
“This investment will add capacity to meet growing demand for industrial products and automotive aluminum sheet,” said Tim Myers, president of Arconic’s Global Rolled Products business. “With this expansion, we are further diversifying the portfolio of one of our largest North American facilities.”
The expansion will support the industrial and automotive markets. The industrial market consists of products made with common alloy aluminum sheet, which is used in applications for commercial transportation, appliances, machinery, and construction. In the automotive market, aluminum is used in applications from bumper to bumper. Demand for automotive aluminum sheet in North America is expected to double in the next ten years, according to a report published in July 2017 by independent research firm Ducker Worldwide.
The project is already underway and is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2020.
This continues the company’s growth strategy at its Tennessee Operations, which began with its $300 million expansion completed in 2015 that was aimed at capturing growing demand for automotive aluminum sheet from automakers such as Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and General Motors. During the investment, the facility was equipped with state-of-the-art rolling mill technology that allowed it to switch between automotive and can sheet production, depending on market demands. The location also features a large recycling facility for automotive scrap, which offsets expense and eliminates waste for automakers, as well as reducing Alcoa’s carbon footprint.