JW Aluminum began the expansion of its Mount Holly flat rolled aluminum plant in Goose Creek, South Carolina, which will enable the company to increase capacity by 175 million lbs of flat rolled aluminum. This project will greatly enhance JW Aluminum’s capabilities to serve its primary end markets, including building and construction, HVAC fin stock, transportation, and packaging.
“It’s an exciting new chapter in JW Aluminum’s story and a considerable progression in our strategic journey,” said Lee McCarter, chief executive officer of JW Aluminum. “As a domestic supplier, we’ve prevailed in an extremely challenging competitive environment. The outcome of this endeavor will empower us to produce superior product for our customers, provide increased value to our stakeholders and serve as a preferred supplier and employer for decades to come.”
The expansion will include a new 220,000 square foot building and the installation of proven, state-of-the-art equipment. Hazelett Strip-Casting in Colchester, Vermont will supply twin belt continuous casting system, while MINO SpA from Alessandria, Italy, will provide the new hot tandem mill.
The Hazelett® Model AS2000 twin belt caster will be capable of producing 2,000 mm wide strip at approximately 50 tonnes per hour. Alloy capabilities include 1xxx, 3xxx, 5xxx, and 6xxx series. “This new facility will be a model for the most cost-effective and energy efficient sheet production in North America,” said David Hazelett, president of Hazelett Strip-Casting. “It will significantly ease the projected shortage of aluminum coil in the U.S.”
The hot tandem mill from MINO will be installed inline with the twin belt caster. It will be capable of continuously rolling, dividing, and coiling aluminum strip with a maximum width of 2,000 mm (78.74 inches), down to a minimum gauge of 2.5 mm (0.1 inches). The mill will include powerful AC main drives and controls, engineered by MINO Automation, for precise and continuous operation.
In order to control the mill under a continuous rolling process, MINO will supply exit shearing/coiling equipment, a process control system (including a sophisticated self learning model-based L2 system), and state-of-the-art solutions for coolant management and filtration. The L2 system was developed by MINO in cooperation with Centro Sviluppo Materiali (CSM), a Rome-based metallurgy research institute.
According to JW Aluminum, this project represents the most significant capital investment in domestic continuous cast technologies and capabilities since 2001. “This expansion has been years in the making and its undertaking would not be possible without the team’s depth of experience, a highly engaged workforce, local and national government support, and our stakeholders’ commitment to our industry,” said Stan Brant, chief operating officer of JW Aluminum.
As part of the expansion, JW Aluminum will add 50 new jobs to its workforce and is currently recruiting skilled operators, industrial and electrical technicians, maintenance mechanics and engineers. The project is being financed through the recent notes offering completed by JW Aluminum Continuous Cast Company, the parent of JW Aluminum.
Construction of the plant is underway and is expected to be completed in early 2020.