CHICAGO Alcoa Inc. plans to invest $275 million over the
next three years to boost aluminum sheet capacity at its
rolling mill in Alcoa, Tenn., to meet increasing demand from
the auto sector.
The Pittsburgh-based producer will add automotive aluminum
capacity to the plant as well as convert some of its can sheet
capacity to high-strength automotive aluminum production, the
company said May 2.
More and more auto producers are turning to aluminum to
increase the fuel efficiency and quality of their vehicles. We
anticipate a quadrupling of auto sheet volume by 2015 and a
tenfold increase by 2015, Alcoa chairman and chief
executive office Klaus Kleinfeld said in a statement.
Alcoa previously announced a $300-million expansion at its
operations in Davenport, Iowa, which is expected to be
completed by the end of 2013, according to Alcoa. But Kleinfeld
has said the expansion at Davenport is not enough to keep up
with forecast demand from the automotive industry.
Davenport is basically sold out, even though we
havent even built the automotive (expansion),
Kleinfeld said during a quarterly conference call with analysts
amm.com, April 9
The Tennessee expansion is expected to begin this month and be
completed by mid-2015, Alcoa said. Once the expansion is
finished, the plant will service both the packaging and
automotive markets, the company said.
A large portion of the added automotive production is already
locked down under long-term deals, Alcoa said.
The new capacity will also feature Alcoas proprietary
Alcoa 951 pre-treatment bonding technology, the company said.
Alcoa has called the technology a breakthrough that
will allow aluminum to be used more widely on mass-produced
amm.com, April 5
Our technology solutions are helping to drive the
continued penetration of aluminum into the automotive
market, Alcoa executive vice president and chief
technology officer Ray Kilmer said in the statement. We
are enabling not just increased penetration, but (also) working
with (original equipment manufacturers) to do it more
cost-effectively in high-volume applications, making
expansions in automotive aluminum capacity necessary, he said.
The project is expected to create 200 permanent jobs and more
than 400 jobs during construction, Alcoa said.
We are grateful Alcoa is expanding its presence and
joining our states continued growth in the automotive
sector, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said in a statement.
Increased demand for aluminum in the automotive sector is
supported not only buy stricter government fuel economy
standards but also by cost-conscious consumers, an Alcoa
spokesman told AMM
Whats driving this is people wanting more fuel
efficiency. ... Its being driven by $4-a-gallon
gas, he said. Automakers get it and are
way ahead of even government requirements, he