Breaking ground on expansion in Kentucky, investing $350 million in facility
Aleris recently broke ground on an expansion of its facility in Lewisport, Kentucky. The company is investing $350 million to equip the facility with additional heat treatment and finishing capabilities to produce wide aluminum auto body sheet for the automotive industry.
The investment positions Aleris to meet anticipated significant growth in North American automotive demand as the industry pursues broader aluminum use for the production of lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Aleris is currently a leading supplier to the European premium auto industry, which has led the transition to aluminum driven by tighter emissions standards.
“This groundbreaking marks the beginning of the next milestone in our global automotive strategy to expand our capabilities in North America as the automotive industry turns to broader aluminum use to produce vehicles that are more lightweight,” Steve Demetriou, Aleris Chairman and CEO said. “We have a strong and talented team in Lewisport that has been an important part of the community for 50 years, and we couldn’t have made this happen in Kentucky without the outstanding support of its local and state officials.”
The company expects to begin construction on the project this fall, with a goal of shipping automotive body sheet material to customers by early 2017. When fully operational, the new facility will allow for the production of 480 million pounds of aluminum auto body sheet annually.
The company’s investment will include the addition of heat treatment and finishing capabilities, including a new wide cold mill, two continuous annealing lines and an automotive innovation center.