Braidy Industries

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
engineering.com

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.

engineering.com

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.