Braidy Industries broke ground on its $1.3 billion greenfield aluminum rolling complex in Ashland, Kentucky, which was first announced in early 2017. At the ceremony, Craig T. Bouchard, CEO of Braidy Industries, was joined by Gov. Matt Bevin and other officials in celebrating the official launch of the project.
Bouchard stated that the design of the mill is finished and contractors have been selected (although they have not yet been announced publicly. The plant is expected to have 1.8 million sq ft under roof, producing 370,000 tons of aluminum sheet and plate per year in 5xxx, 6xxx, and 7xxx series alloys. The goal is for the mill to be the nation’s low cost leader in producing automotive body sheet, plate, and ultra-high strength alloys for the aerospace industry.
The Braidy rolling mill is expected to employ almost 600 personnel when completed. “Our goal is to rebuild Appalachia with technology,” said Bouchard. “But, successful tech companies are not just about advances utilizing robots and artificial intelligence. They are about people and creating a winning culture.”
Braidy Industries and the Kentucky state government expect the plant to transform the local economy. “Today is a landmark day for the commonwealth, as we celebrate the official commencement of this monumental project in Eastern Kentucky,” said Bevin. “This is one of the most substantial investments ever made in our state, and the additional opportunities unleashed by the arrival of Braidy Industries have extraordinary potential. The initial 1,000 construction jobs, followed by 600 high-paying, permanent jobs, together with the overall, morale-boosting impact this company will have on the entire region, will transform the economic landscape of Eastern Kentucky for generations to come. We are grateful to Braidy Industries for its decision to locate in Kentucky, and we look forward to nurturing a strong corporate partnership in the years ahead.”
The company is receiving support from state programs. The the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Braidy for tax incentives up to $10 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program, and the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) and the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board voted to provide $15 million for a direct investment in Braidy by Commonwealth Seed Capital LLC (CSC). In addition, Braidy is able to receive resources through the Kentucky Skills Network, which provides companies with no-cost recruitment and job placement services.
Braidy Industries expects to complete construction of the rolling mill in 2020.