Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Congressman John Duncan and other local and state officials joined Alcoa (NYSE: AA) Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld today to break ground on a $275 million expansion of Alcoa’s Tennessee Operations to meet growing aluminum demand for auto production. Aluminum, already the number two material used to build cars, is expected to nearly double by 2025.
The expansion will create an additional 200 full time jobs in Tennessee once completed by mid-2015. In addition, during construction, an incremental 400 construction jobs will be created at the plant. The previously announced expansion will convert some of the plant’s can sheet capacity to high-strength automotive aluminum capacity, as well as install incremental automotive capacity, making it a key supplier to both the packaging and automotive markets.
The Tennessee expansion is the second major automotive expansion by Alcoa in North America to meet car makers’ demand; a $300 million expansion of Alcoa’s Davenport, Iowa plant has already begun commissioning and is set to be completed by the end of 2013. Much of the volume for the automotive expansions is secured under long-term supply agreements.
“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. It’s a great day all around.”As part of the groundbreaking and the 100 th anniversary of Tennessee Operations, Alcoa announced a $50,000 Alcoa Foundation grant to The East Tennessee Historical Society to create an exhibit at the Museum of East Tennessee History on the past, present and future of manufacturing, “100 Years of Manufacturing in East Tennessee: and a Look Ahead at the Next 100 Years”. The exhibit will raise awareness of the evolution of manufacturing, with an emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to promote career options in manufacturing to students and teachers across East Tennessee and help fill the manufacturing skills gap. “Since its founding, Alcoa has been committed to community partnerships and that is why I am pleased to announce this grant for the East Tennessee Historical Society, which will support the continued advancement of Tennessee’s manufacturing base,” said Kleinfeld.