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Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today it will install an advanced recycling and casting process that will reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions as part of a $21 million expansion of B&C Research, part of the company’s Wheel and Transportation Products business. The Alcoa investment will create 30 full-time jobs and help protect more than 350 existing positions.
The new 35,000-square-foot facility, the first of its kind in North America, will use innovative new technology to produce billet from remelted scrap aluminum. The aluminum billet will then be used to make new wheels, increasing the efficiency and sustainability of Alcoa’s manufacturing process.
“This project will strengthen Alcoa’s position as a technology leader, demonstrated by our line of innovative products including LvL ONE® and Dura-Bright® wheels,” said Tim Myers, President, Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products. “We are excited to expand our wheels business in Barberton and share this celebration with our employees and partners within this great community and state of Ohio. We thank Mayor Bob Genet as well as our community, state and federal partners for their collaboration and outstanding support to help grow this important manufacturing operation and help secure jobs well into the future.”
“Alcoa is a company with a proud history in Northeast Ohio, and its expansion in Barberton is further proof that manufacturing is on the rebound in Ohio and across the country,” said U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. “Ohio is the right place for Barberton’s expansion because of our state’s manufacturing know-how and our skilled workforce committed to making quality products. This multi-million dollar investment will create and protect critical jobs in Summit County. I’m also glad to see Alcoa help expand sustainable manufacturing a 21st-century industry with a high potential for growth in our state.”
Alcoa’s aluminum wheels offer advantages to the environment and the consumer. Aluminum wheels reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, which significantly improves fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. And the new advanced recycling and casting process is more efficient than conventional systems, lowering Alcoa’s carbon footprint through a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption.
“This new process is another great example of Alcoa providing customers with innovative technology to make our 100 percent recyclable aluminum wheels even more efficient, while investing in the communities where we operate,” said Kevin Anton, Alcoa’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
“This is an important day for the city of Barberton on many fronts,” said Barberton Mayor Bob Genet. “First, we are very fortunate to have a company like Alcoa continue to invest both in its operations and employees by creating a strong manufacturing base and high-paying skilled jobs. We also appreciate and recognize the company’s long-term commitment to this area and the vital role they play in our region.”
The expansion is scheduled to be completed the second half of 2012.
About Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products
Alcoa Wheel and Transportation Products, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, serves the commercial vehicle, automotive, and defense markets with products used in a range of applications including forged aluminum wheels, premium products such as Dura-Bright®, Dura-Flange®, LvL ONE® and M-Series™ medium truck wheels, as well as a variety of other aluminum components for these markets. AWTP is composed of three divisions: Commercial Vehicle Wheels, Forged Specialty Wheels and Transportation Products. It employs 1,500 people at 23 locations worldwide. More information can be found at www.alcoawheels.com.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa’s operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 59,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com.