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Tennessee Expansion Due to Auto Demand for Aluminum Says Alcoa CEO

May 7, 2013
'More and more auto producers are turning to aluminum to increase the fuel efficiency and quality of their vehicles – we anticipate a quadrupling of auto sheet volume by 2015 and a tenfold increase by 2025,' Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said.

To meet the growing demand for light, durable and recyclable aluminum sheet for automotive production, Alcoa (IW 500/48) announced last week that it will expand its rolling mill in  Tennessee.

The expansion represents a $275 million investment over the next three years and will add 200 permanent full-time jobs upon completion, as well as 400 jobs during the construction phase. 

 “Our Tennessee expansion is a great example of how Alcoa’s edge in technology and innovation is capturing growth opportunities in our value-added mid- and downstream businesses,” Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said.

 “More and more auto producers are turning to aluminum to increase the fuel efficiency and quality of their vehicles – we anticipate a quadrupling of auto sheet volume by 2015 and a tenfold increase by 2025,” Kleinfeld added.

The project will convert some of the plant’s can sheet capacity to high-strength automotive aluminum capacity, as well as install incremental automotive capacity. The Blount County expansion is scheduled to begin this month and be completed by mid-2015. When completed, the plant will be a key supplier to both the packaging and automotive markets. Much of the volume for the automotive expansion is already secured under long-term supply agreements.

“It is particularly gratifying to make this investment in our namesake community this year, which is both the 100thanniversary of our Tennessee operations as well as the 125thanniversary of Alcoa,” Kleinfeld added.  “We have a very dedicated and highly engaged workforce in Tennessee and a very supportive community.” 

Workforce is a key focus of Tennessee.  “Our Jobs4TN strategy identifies key industry clusters where Tennessee holds a unique competitive advantage, and we are grateful Alcoa is expanding its presence and joining in our state’s continued growth in the automotive sector,” said Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. 

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