Braidy Industries

Report On Russian Interference In Elections Raises Questions About KY Project

Aug 19, 2020
Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley ReSource

A new report from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in U.S. elections raises new questions about a struggling eastern Kentucky development project with ties to both Senator Mitch McConnell and the Russian government. 

The 966-page document, the result of a years-long bipartisan investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee, is the most explicit acknowledgement to date that Rusal, a Russian aluminum giant, was a proxy for the Russian government and that its head, oligarch and close Putin associate Oleg Deripaska, was involved in the country’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

Sydney Boles

Leaders of Braidy Industries, the controversial aluminum mill planned for northeastern Kentucky, told lawmakers on Tuesday that they still need $500 million before they can break ground.

The update comes shortly after the company fired former CEO and chairman Craig Bouchard, the company’s founder who has claimed the project would revolutionize the aluminum industry and revitalize the region’s economy.

Braidy Industries executives largely refused to answer questions about Bouchard’s ouster or what would happen if the company was unable to raise enough money.


Braidy Industries

A controversial economic development project in Ashland, Kentucky, hit a snag last week as aluminum company Braidy Industries ousted CEO and board chairman Craig Bouchard. In a statement, Braidy Industries’ interim CEO said he appreciated Bouchard’s hard work for the company. Bouchard says the firing was improper and is refusing to step down.

The dueling statements from Briady and Bouchard come amid continuing questions about the company’s effort to cobble together about $2 billion in financing from a mix of taxpayer money and private investment from both foreign and domestic sources.

Braidy Industries

An aluminum company planning to build a $1.7 billion plant in northeastern Kentucky has announced a management shakeup.

The announcement is being disputed by an executive at Braidy Industries.

The boardroom drama began when Braidy said Thursday that Chairman and CEO Craig Bouchard would step down from that role. The company offered no reason for the change.

Sydney Boles

A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier.

This corner of eastern Kentucky has long struggled to make up for losses in mining and manufacturing. Unemployment in the Ashland area is still around 6.3 percent, well above the state average. Career center employees said workers are anxious about the closure of longtime employer AK Steel, which announced in January it would close its Ashland plant this year.

Braidy Industries

Russian aluminum company Rusal announced Monday it plans to invest in a new Kentucky aluminum mill to be built near Ashland in eastern Kentucky. The $200 million investment in Braidy Industries is Rusal’s first U.S. project since the Trump administration lifted U.S. sanctions placed against the company.

Rusal had been sanctioned by the U.S. government because its major controller, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, faces accusations of “a range of malign activity around the globe” by Russia, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Those actions include interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and meddling in neighboring Ukraine.

Flickr creative commons, Ashland Community and Technical College

The company that’s promised to build a massive aluminum rolling mill in northeastern Kentucky is looking for a new loan of up to $800 million.

Braidy Industries is seeking the money from a federal program that hasn’t given out a loan in almost eight years.

The aluminum mill planned for Greenup County has been hailed by Gov. Matt Bevin as a major win in his administration’s efforts to attract new jobs and industry to the Commonwealth.

The Courier-Journal reports Braidy has applied to borrow up to $800 million from the U.S Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing direct loan program. That would cover almost half of the estimated $1.7 billion cost to build the mill that plans to supply lightweight sheet aluminum for automakers, creating more than 500 jobs.

Kentucky Regulators Want Financial Assurances for Mill

Nov 13, 2018

Kentucky regulators are requiring written financial assurances for a proposed aluminum mill in eastern Kentucky.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the requirement is part of regulators' conditional approval of a $22.4 million Kentucky Power project to build power lines to the site.

The Public Service Commission wants written assurances from Braidy Industries that it has the money to complete the project. Company officials told investors in September they need an additional $400 million to $500 million to complete construction.

The company that’s planning to build an aluminum mill in northeastern Kentucky is seeking new investors to help it complete construction of the massive project.

WDRB in Louisville reports Braidy Industries hasn’t been able to raise anywhere close to the $1.6 billion dollars it needs to complete construction on the project.

Documents filed this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show Braidy is looking to raise at least $400 million through a new round of stock sales.

J. Tyler Franklin

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s partnering with a former Democratic congressman to help people navigate the state’s new Medicaid rules. We found out that lobbyists set a new spending record at the state legislature as lawmakers made changes to the tax code. Plus, a state-funded aluminum mill broke ground in northeastern Kentucky and  Bevin asked for a judge to recuse himself from the lawsuit over the new pension bill.

Becca Schimmel

The Ohio Valley was once synonymous with steel. Even after the industry’s sharp decline the region is still home to many industries that produce or use steel and aluminum. Those industries are closely watching what the Trump administration will do on steel and aluminum imports.

The Department of Commerce has suggested a massive 24 percent global tariff on those imports. As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to apply tariffs. Now, it’s unclear if President Trump will follow through.