Texarkana Aluminum held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the official launch of its aluminum rolling mill in Texas. The event was attended by company executives as well as local, regional and state economic and political organizations.
Texarkana is owned by Ta Chen International, Inc., which acquired the plant from Arconic for approximately $300 million in October 2018. The operation is a fully integrated aluminum rolling mill — casting, hot mill, cold mill, and finishing — producing common alloy for the North American service center industry. Prior to this, the rolling operation had been idle for nearly ten years. Now the company has invested around $460 million investment to implement software and hardware upgrades for its rolling operations. (Texarkana became a producer member of the Aluminum Association in May 2019.)
“This plant will be fully operational come May 2020,” said Calum Donnachie, chief operating officer of Texarkana Aluminum, Inc. Once Texarkana reached full operation, the site will employ 300 employees and will produce 300 million lbs of aluminum coil per year.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Among the improvement projects at Texarkana Aluminum is the implementation of energy efficient LED lighting — for which the plant received a $94,987.74 incentive check from Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) on October 8, 2019.
LED lighting has significant advantages, including longer lifespans, lower maintenance costs, and brighter illumination than metal halides and fluorescents. Texarkana has already installed more than 200 LED fixtures at the mill, which involved careful planning to consider the areas of the mill that had been dark at the floor level with high bay lighting. The switch to the new lighting will not only decrease energy use, but also better lighting throughout the plant.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve upon how we operate, even down to the light bulb,” says Calum Donnachie, COO of Texarkana Aluminum. “This is just one example that will not only positively impact our bottom line, but also positively impact our work environment.”
The SWEPCO incentive will help cover some of the upfront costs of the project, which has an expected payback period of less than two years. Moving forward, the use of LED lights when compared to the use of older, inefficient lights will yield savings of approximately $82,000 a year or about $6,900 a month on Texarkana Aluminum’s electricity bill.
“SWEPCO is proud to help Texarkana Aluminum make this investment to save both energy and resources,” said Mike Nix, SWEPCO Energy Efficiency & Consumer Program Coordinator. “We hope Texarkana Aluminum will be able to reinvest the money saved from this project into other areas of its business for continued success.”