Kentucky Gov. Beshear calls for ‘deep dive’ into aluminum mill promise

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 9:20 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - For years, eastern Kentucky was promised major economic development with the creation of an aluminum plant under the name Braidy Industries.

So far, though, there have been no jobs, no funds and even more doubts. Now, state lawmakers are trying to figure out how to recoup taxpayer money, in case the project never gets off the ground.

Kentucky gave a $15 million investment into the project in 2017 after Braidy Industries, now called Unity Aluminum, promised to build a massive aluminum mill near Ashland.

Four years later, however, there is still nothing to show for it. Gov. Andy Beshear is requesting a “deep dive” into the project.

“But I think that there needs to be a deep dive in how the policymakers inside the last administration are somehow the presidents or senior executives of the company that they encouraged direct investments in or let them out of the obligations,” Beshear said. “No one would do business that way. No one’s attorneys would ever advise them to do business that way. I’ve been very concerned about it for a while. I will continue, if we think that there is any opportunity there to, to support it.”

But the company has still not reached their goal of $1 billion for construction and equipment. They estimate it would take 30 to 36 months to construct the facility and the earliest production could begin would be 2025, five full years after the mill was set to be complete.

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