Braidy Industries announced Tuesday morning a major change in the location for its $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill, from South Shore to the EastPark industrial site in Greenup and Boyd counties.
The move was made necessary by an analysis of the South Shore property and the realization that it could not accommodate the deep foundations necessary to support Braidy's mill, according to Braidy officials.
"In our diligent efforts, we discovered a risk that our peculiar needs for deep foundations for the mill could not be met without incurring material delays to our planned groundbreaking in the second quarter of 2018," said Braidy Industries Executive Vice President of Engineering, Alan Blankshain.
"Our site will ultimately have to sustain the type of deep-bore foundations necessary to support massive equipment and the processes required to manufacturer high quality automotive and aerospace aluminum."
As a result, Braidy is looking to purchase a sizable piece of land on Site B in the EastPark Industrial Center. The majority of Site B is in Boyd County, according to EastPark chairman and Boyd County Economic Development Director Nickie Smith.
Braidy Executive Vice President of Operations Blaine Holt said it was the company’s “absolute priority” to remain in Greenup County, and Braidy is “very happy with this alternative.”
Site B contains 621 acres of land. The original design for the plant in South Shore encompassed about 380 acres, including more than 50 acres under roof.
The company still plans to produce 300,000 tons of aluminum per year during phase one. The second phase includes the production of an additional 200,000 tons. “EastPark is more than adequate enough to make our result and outcome happen, and we’re very pleased about that,” said Holt.
Holt said the closer proximity of the Technology Drive campus of the Ashland Community & Technical College, which is developing a plan for a two-year associates degree in partnership with Braidy, was also a key factor in Braidy’s decision to relocate.