Russia’s RUSAL, Braidy Industries To Build Green Field Aluminum Rolling Mill in Kentucky
April 15, 2019 (EIRNS)—Russia’s aluminum giant RUSAL signed a letter of intent with U.S. Braidy Industries Inc. to join the latter’s efforts to build a state-of-the-art flat rolled aluminum plant in Ashland, Kentucky, TASS reports, citing a RUSAL press release. According to the agreement which should be finalized in the second quarter of this year, RUSAL will have a 40% share, while Braidy Industries’ will have 60%. Financing will be sought by approaching financial markets after signing the letter of intent. RUSAL will invest $200 million.
RUSAL was originally under U.S. sanctions because its majority owner Oleg Deripaska was targetted by the sanctions. When Deripaska lowered his share holding from 70% to below 50%, the sanctions on the company were lifted in January 2019, which allowed the project with Braidy to go forward.
The rolling mill’s annual design capacity will be 500,000 tons of hot rolled band and 300,000 tons of fully finished cold rolled products. This will be the widest U.S.-based cold rolling mill with a width of 104 inches, the company says.
“The output from the mill will aid towards rebalancing the anticipated deficit of the auto body sheet in the U.S. market,” according to RUSAL.
RUSAL will supply aluminum in slab alloys as well as a primary metal for the new rolling mill from its new Taishet aluminum smelter, currently under construction in Siberia’s Irkutsk Region.
“Delivering value added products (VAP) to the new Kentucky mill is consistent with RUSAL’s commitment to increase the share of its VAP offerings as part of the company’s total production and sales,” RUSAL said in its release.
“The joint project with Braidy Industries is an excellent opportunity for RUSAL to expand the company’s diverse expertise in one of the key areas of aluminum downstream products. It will also reinforce the company’s presence on the strategic market,” it states.
Both companies will be also supplying technology to build a state-of-the-art aluminum mill which will be first such aluminum plant built in the United States in 35 years and will use prime aluminum and not scrap. The average age of aluminum mills in the U.S. is 70 years. Covering more than 2 million square feet, the mill will create 600 new jobs.
Braidy Industries manufactures aluminum alloys for automobile and aerospace industries and unites scientific and technical companies Veloxint and NanoAl. RUSAL is the world’s second largest aluminum producer after China.