Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Century Aluminum to expand Sebree Smelter

J-E News Editor
Century Aluminum Sebree, LLC, announced last Thursday that it would be investing $3 million to create 45 new jobs in an expansion of it’s Sebree aluminum smelter, located right on the Webster-Henderson County line.
The planned expansion comes as part of the company’s new “Premium Products Initiative” which is geared to significantly increase the percentage of molten metal produced to a premium product. Specifically the expansion is aimed at a growing need for premium aluminum billet and rolling slabs for the automotive, aerospace and construction industries.

“This announcement bolsters the future of this plant and hopefully reinforces that Century Aluminum is proud to be in the region and committed to stay and grow,” stated Jason Young, General Manager, Century Aluminum Sebree. “This expansion will create dozens of new, quality jobs, and is just one of a series of plans we have to improve the business. This expansion will boost what is already a significant aluminum industry presence in western Kentucky, and with the dramatic increase in aluminum consumption worldwide, we believe that this region is set to see exciting economic growth.”
California based Century Aluminum purchased the Sebree smelter from UK based Rio Tinto in April of 2013 for a pricetag of $61 million. Century Sebree currently employs 500 workers, with another 700 at Century’s Hawesville Smelter in Hancock County. The  Sebree facility is estimated to support 3,500 jobs both directly and indirectly in the region, and contributes about $200 million a year to Kentucky through taxes, salaries and procurements.
United Steelworkers Local 9443-00 President Charlie Hiatt said, “The expansion is good for the long-term sustainability of the plant. We are looking forward to working with Century Aluminum to keep smelting operations in the United States. Safety and training will remain a top priority as the Steelworkers and Century move forward.” 
“This is a tremendous day for our entire region,” said State Representative Jim Gooch, D-Providence, chairman of the Kentucky House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I congratulate Century Aluminum for being an outstanding corporate citizen and continuing its great work to create good jobs in Northwestern Kentucky.” 
This fall, Century plans to launch a new community education campaign, working with local officials, schools, colleges, and other industries to promote job-training programs in the aluminum industry.  The goal is to help stimulate a private/public partnership to provide a well-educated and highly paid workforce. 
Century and its employees also are deeply involved in dozens of local charitable causes, and the company has developed a strong partnership with the area’s local public schools and with the Henderson Community College, where it has created an annual scholarship through the college. The plant additionally provides extended educational offerings and leadership training courses through HCC. 
Due to the strong economic and job-creating nature of this project, the Kentucky Economic Development Financing Authority has approved up to $750,000 in wage assessments and income tax credits to assist in Century’s efforts.  In addition, $22,500 in local incentives for the expansion was provided through a partnership of Henderson County Fiscal Court and Kyndle. 
“Northwest Kentucky remains vitally important to us as a company,” said Young. “We are in a great area with great workers, and we want to stay actively involved. It is a partnership that works.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment