Audubon Metals LLC, a subsidiary of Koch Enterprises Inc., is investing $8.3 million in its facility in Henderson, KY, which produces secondary aluminum using shredded automotive metal. The expansion will add nearly 21,000 sq ft of manufacturing space — enlarging it to more than 333,000 sq ft — in order to house a fifth reverberatory furnace for secondary aluminum smelting, as well as an extension of its ingot casting line, expansion of its production storage building, and a new warehouse.
“Since our Henderson, KY, aluminum smelting operation began in 1996, Audubon Metals LLC has steadily grown its market share in providing quality products to the secondary aluminum die casting industry,” said Jim Butkus, president and CEO of Audubon Metals. “This project will expand and diversify our product mix, and give us the required capacity to grow and enter new markets. Coupled with the contributions from our terrific associate employees and support from the Henderson, Ky. community, we are confident that we will continue to maintain our highest level of service to our customers and to our community.”
Audubon Metals purchases Zorba (automobile shreddings minus the steel) from shredder yards throughout the U.S. Using a unique process, Audubon Metals removes the aluminum from the Zorba and smelts it into alloys used for die casting. Audubon has an annual production capacity of 400 million pounds of aluminum alloy.
Kentucky’s aluminum industry has seen significant growth, particularly as automakers, seeking higher fuel efficiency, turn to lightweight aluminum components, including body panels, mechanical components, and housings. Since 2015, Kentucky has announced more than $2 billion in aluminum-related corporate investment.
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Audubon Metals for tax incentives up to $1.01 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $90,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Audubon Metals can also receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2016, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for nearly 95,000 Kentuckians and 5,000 companies from a variety of industry sectors.