Novelis Inc. broke ground on its its $300 million automotive aluminum sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky (first announced in January). Representatives from Novelis were joined by Senator Rand Paul, Congressman James Comer, Governor Matt Bevin, and Senator Mitch McConnell’s staff to recognize the investment in a 400,000 sq ft facility that produce annual nameplate capacity of 200,000 tonnes and will create approximately 125 jobs.
The facility will include heat treatment and pre-treatment lines, which prepare aluminum sheet for use in vehicle parts such as body-in-white, hoods, doors, lift gates, and fenders. According to Ducker Worldwide, automakers are expected to increase the adoption of high-strength, lightweight aluminum in new cars and trucks over the next decade. This investment is expected to grow Novelis’ leadership position as a key choice for automotive aluminum sheet and to deliver consistent quality products to automakers as they turn to aluminum for the benefits they see in vehicle performance and safety, as well as the ability to extend electric battery range.
“The increased adoption of aluminum in cars, trucks and SUVs, coupled with more automotive manufacturing plants in the southeast makes Guthrie a strategic location to serve our customers,” said Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis Inc. “With the strong, highly-skilled workforce in Kentucky, we believe our culture and commitment to building a sustainable world together will have a lasting and positive impact on this community.”
According to Novelis, the significant positive impact of tax reform in the U.S. create a favorable economic environment that reenforced the company’s decision to move forward with the project at this time. This enabled the company to finalize key contracts totaling approximately $60 million for engineering plans, site preparation, and state-of-the-art equipment for the greenfield facility.
“I am fortunate to represent such hard-working men and women from the First District of Kentucky,” “Novelis’ investment in this new plant demonstrates the value of Kentucky’s community of highly-skilled, advanced manufacturing workers,” said Congressman James Comer. “This is just one of many benefits of tax reform that we are seeing. . . . I thank Novelis for this great investment in our Kentucky workforce, and am eager to witness the benefits this facility will have on Guthrie and surrounding counties.”
“These are the kinds of investments that are transforming Kentucky and transforming the industry,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “My vision for this state is simple, and that is, that we will be the center for engineering and manufacturing excellence in the United States of America. If we can go all the way down the supply chain, not just to fabricate materials but to roll those materials, to smelt those materials, to slit those materials – whatever the case might be – to get those materials to market; these are the kinds of things that are going to transform the state. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. Western Kentucky is primed for growth.”
Paul Banks, a 25-year veteran of the aluminum rolling industry, will oversee the project as plant manager, having previously served as unit manager at Logan Aluminum, a Novelis joint venture in nearby Russellville, Kentucky.
Novelis plans to begin producing automotive aluminum at the site in 2020. The company is currently hiring for key roles at the new facility to ensure an efficient and safe production ramp-up.