Braidy Industries to Build USD$1.3B Aluminum Rolling Mill in Eastern Kentucky
Kagan Pittman posted on April 28, 2017 |
New auto body sheet and aerospace plate aluminum rolling mill to generate over 2,500 jobs.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Craig Bouchard, chairman and CEO of Braidy Industries, Inc. recently announced that Braidy, in partnership with the State of Kentucky and the Ashland Alliance, will construct the first Greenfield aluminum rolling mill to be built in the U.S. in over three decades.

The Braidy rolling mill will produce auto body sheet aluminum, plate and ultra-high strength alloys for the aerospace industry. The mill will open with a capacity of 370,000 tons per annum, producing series 5000, 6000, and 7000 aluminum sheet and plate products.

Braidy is also exploring new scientific nano-crystalline technical advances capable of improving molten metal-based manufacturing.

Over USD$1.3 billion will be spent on the mill which will be located in Greenup County, Kentucky, close to the city of Ashland.  The mill will be 2.5 million square feet under roof, located on the great Ohio River and already permitted barge capacity. The CSX railroad runs through the property and highway I-64 connects the mill site to some of the nation’s largest auto-making and aerospace customers.

“Braidy Industries’ decision to locate in Eastern Kentucky has the potential to be as significant as any economic deal ever made in the history of Kentucky,” said Bevin.

“This $1.3 billion investment will create enormous opportunity for people in the region and would not have been possible without our recently passed right-to-work legislation. The ripple effect of this investment will be significant and will produce positive change in the region for generations to come."

The State-provided incentives are hoped to help Braidy in becoming a low-cost producer of aluminum sheet and plate when the mill is completed in 2020.

Dr. Michael E. Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School and a global expert on competitiveness and economic development, serves as a Braidy Industries board member. Porter assisted the company in assessing Kentucky’s competitive advantage versus other potential locations.

“Eastern Kentucky has significant competitive advantages, including its proximity to the leading automotive and aerospace customers, low energy costs and a skilled and available workforce for heavy manufacturing,” Porter said. “The decision to locate in Greenup County will provide an opportunity for Braidy Industries and the community to work together to transform the region’s business environment as well as attract related companies.”

Braidy will be making a second investment in a soon-to-be-announced acquisition to get on track for manufacturing ultra-high strength and light weight parts for the inside of cars and airplanes and for defense purposes.

The company intends to lead the development of processes applying nano-crystaline technologies to the implementation of high-strength and lightweight alloys.

“By combining an advanced production capability with advanced metallurgical science, there is a great opportunity to reinvigorate metals manufacturing in United States,” said Christopher Schuh, MIT metallurgist and member of the Braidy board of directors.

John Preston, renowned technologist who commercialized intellectual property at MIT for nearly 30 years and is a member of Braidy’s board of directors said, “The last decade has seen rapid advances in material science, similar to advances in the computer and Internet fields in the 1990s.  These advances both in processing equipment and new materials are now ripe for full scale deployment, which enables cost effective material substitution – reducing the weight of vehicles and planes, saving vast amounts of energy and reducing dependence on scarce materials.”

Braidy will partner with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to enhance and develop a specialized Associate’s Degree in Material Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing, which will be used to train its work force on an evergreen basis while developing a pipeline of human talent for its mill and future manufacturing businesses in Greenup County and surrounding counties. 

“Ashland Community and Technical College will lead the effort by providing onboarding services as well as delivering the AAS in Material Sciences degree needed by Braidy,” said Dr. Jay Box, KCTCS President. 

Kentucky Power is also partnering with Braidy to provide low cost energy.

Ground breaking at the 370-acre South Shore site will occur in the first quarter of 2018.

For more information visit the Braidy Industries website.

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