Governor Steve Beshear joined company officials and local leaders to break ground on the Constellium-UACJ Body-in-White plant in Bowling Green.
A joint venture between Constellium N.V. and UACJ Corporation, the $150 million aluminum production facility marks one of the largest investments in south central Kentucky in the past decade. The partnership is expected to create 80 new jobs.
“What an exciting day for Bowling Green and all of Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “This huge investment will further solidify our role as a key player in the auto industry. I want to thank Constellium N.V. and UACJ Corporation for locating here, and I look forward to seeing the impact of this operation.”
The Constellium-UACJ Body-in-White plant will produce finished aluminum body sheets for cars and trucks. The company will supply these parts to the country’s major automotive manufacturers.
Construction on the 225,000-square-foot facility at the Kentucky Transpark will start this summer. The facility is also designed to allow for future expansion. The companies chose Bowling Green for many reasons, including its location to customers and highly skilled workforce.
Constellium, a European aluminum company, and UACJ, a Japanese aluminum company, both will supply the aluminum coils that will then be treated and processed in Bowling Green.
“We are really thrilled to mark the official start of the Bowling Green plant’s construction today,” said Constellium’s CEO Pierre Vareille. “This project is highly strategic and it is the first milestone of an ambitious strategy to become a major player in the fast growing U.S. aluminum body sheet market.”
“Today, we are very pleased to take the next step forward to the initiation of the joint venture with Constellium,” said Shigenori Yamauchi, chairman of the board and CEO of UACJ. “We are committed to delivering our customers with advanced products, utilizing the technologies each party has separately developed in Europe and Japan.”
Tri-Arrows Aluminum will be one of the key suppliers of cold rolled aluminum coils to the new partnership. Tri-Arrows Aluminum, which is headquartered in Louisville, is a subsidiary of UACJ. The company manufactures its base aluminum coils at its joint-venture operating mill at Logan Aluminum Inc., located in Russellville. Logan is one of south central Kentucky’s largest employers with more than 1,000 full-time employees.
“The multinational project team has worked hard over the past year to go that far, and it is great to see the alignment of both shareholders,” said Pat Franc, president & CEO of Tri-Arrows.
The demand for aluminum sheets is growing as more automotive manufacturers are switching to aluminum from steel. Aluminum allows vehicles to be lighter, which helps manufacturers comply with new federal fuel standards.
The aluminum industry continues to play a significant role in Kentucky’s economy. In the past year, the industry has accounted for nearly $300 million in corporate investments. The industry as a whole employs more than 17,000 Kentuckians.
“Bowling Green continues to attract great businesses to our community by offering a skilled workforce and great, centralized location,” said Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green. “I’m excited to watch this project come to fruition and see the impact it has on our community and our area.”
“The groundbreaking of this facility marks another big day for our community,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “Our local folks have shown that when businesses are looking to grow or expand, especially in the automotive industry, we have what it takes to help them succeed. I’m very glad to see this investment and hope it’s the first of many more to come.”
“Bowling Green has long sat in the center of the growing automotive manufacturing industry in the nation and the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Bowling Green. “Today’s groundbreaking to celebrate yet another company calling Kentucky and Warren County home only further solidifies our region as a top destination for companies.”
“Our corporate citizens are such an important part of the growth and development of our community,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “When we have a company that comes in ready to hit the ground running, we know that their dedication and investment will allow them to succeed here. The impact this joint venture will have on Bowling Green will be great, and I believe there is no limit to the success they will find here. We appreciate their confidence in our community and look forward to working with them in the future.”
“It is truly an honor to be a part of this project that represents such a strong partnership among companies from around the world,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Michael Buchanon. “The decision of this joint venture to bring its operations to Bowling Green attests to the attraction of our strategic location and skilled workforce. We have no doubt that they will be a perfect fit for the collaborative spirit and automotive hub here in Warren County. We congratulate them on this landmark in the process and look forward to their success here in south central Kentucky.”
“The Tennessee Valley Authority congratulates Constellium and UACJ Corporation on this announcement to invest $150 million to build an aluminum production plant in Bowling Green,” said TVA senior vice president of economic development John Bradley. “TVA and Warren RECC are pleased to see companies invest and create new area jobs through our partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and Warren County officials.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in Warren County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $4.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
KEDFA also approved the company for tax benefits up to $1.5 million through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.
Warren County has also been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready Community. The certification is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today's competitive global economy.
A detailed community profile for Bowling Green (Warren County) can be viewed here.
Constellium is a global sector leader that develops innovative, value added aluminum products for a broad scope of markets and applications, including aerospace, automotive and packaging. Constellium generated 3.5 billion euros of revenue in 2013. www.constellium.com
UACJ was established in October 2013 when Furukawa-Sky Aluminum and Sumitomo Light Metal Industries integrated their business operations. Both companies featured a distinguished history as aluminum producers in Japan. Together, their annual capacity for rolled sheet products exceeded 1 million tons, making them the largest such manufacturer in Japan and the third largest in the world. www.uacj.co.jp
About Tri-Arrows Aluminum Inc. (TAA)
Tri-Arrows Aluminum, Inc. was established in August 2011 when a consortium of then- Sumitomo Light Metals Industries and Furukawa Sky Aluminum, in addition to Sumitomo Corporation and Itochu Group, purchased the former ARCO Aluminum, Inc. TAA has long been an innovative leader in the supply and marketing of rolled aluminum can sheet to the North American container industry with annual production exceeding 325 thousand tons. www.triaa.com.