US Alcoa breaks ground on $275m plant expansion aimed at autos

29 August 2013 18:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Alcoa broke ground on Thursday on a $275m (€206m) expansion at its Tennessee Operations facility to help meet growing demand for aluminium in automobiles, the US-based producer announced on Thursday.

The expansion, to be completed by mid-2015, will convert some of the plant’s can sheet capacity to high-capacity automotive aluminium capacity, making the facility a key supplier to both the packaging and automotive markets, Alcoa said.

Some 200 full-time jobs will be created as part of the expansion, as well as about 400 construction jobs during the building phase of the project, the company said.

“This investment will help auto manufacturers make safe, fuel-efficient vehicles that consumers want,” said Alcoa chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. “At the same time, we’re bringing jobs to Tennessee and growing our value-added businesses.”

The Tennessee expansion is Alcoa’s second major automotive expansion in North America.

A $300m expansion of Alcoa’s Davenport, Iowa, plant has already begun commissioning and is set to be completed by the end of the year.

Aluminium is derived from an ore called alumina, which is created in a process that uses caustic soda. Alumina production is one of the key downstream consumers of caustic soda, which is a co-product of chlorine in the chlor-alkali process.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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