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Century Aluminum announces $116 million-plus investment to upgrade smelter in Hawesville

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin has announced Century Aluminum Co., a global producer of primary aluminum, will invest approximately $116.5 million for improvements at its operation in Hawesville that will create over 250 full-time jobs.

“Kentucky’s aluminum industry continues to build upon the momentum generated within the sector in recent years, and Century Aluminum has certainly been no exception,” Gov. Bevin said. “The more than 250 jobs created through this investment will be a boon for Hawesville and Hancock County. I want to thank the company for its dedication to the Kentucky workforce, as well as everyone who helped keep this investment and job growth in the commonwealth.”

Century will use its investment to upgrade its smelting technology and to train new and existing employees to use the new equipment. The Hawesville operation produces high purity metal required for the defense, aerospace and electrical industries. The improvements to the facility will allow the company to remain competitive in the marketplace and increase capacity.

The company will add employment that includes hourly production positions, mechanics, electricians, supervisor roles, technicians and engineers. Century will host job fairs at the Owensboro Career Center on April 21, May 12 and June 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Applicants should come prepared with resumes. Production applicants should also come prepared with work keys scores, as well as a high school diploma or GED. The company also will participate in the Grayson County Job Fair on April 10, the Hardin County Job Fair on April 19, the Cromwell Group fair in Owensboro on April 27 and the Fort Knox Job Fair on September 22. Century will conduct on-site interviews at some of the listed job fairs.

“We are pleased to announce this investment to bring the Hawesville smelter back to full production and upgrade its technology to best in class,” said Jesse Gary, executive vice president of Century. “We are grateful to Gov. Bevin, the Kentucky General Assembly and the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet for their leadership in making the Commonwealth of Kentucky such a great place in which to invest in and grow our business. Together with President Trump’s decisive action to implement effective Sec. 232 relief and the dedication of our excellent employees, these leaders have been instrumental in bringing these hundreds of jobs back to Kentucky.”

Century is a leading producer of primary aluminum in the United States and also produces aluminum in Iceland. In total, its facilities produce more than 1 million tons of aluminum per year. The company operates two smelters in the commonwealth, in Hawesville and Robards, and will employ over 1,000 people in the state after the Hawesville restart.

Sen. Joe Bowen, of Owensboro, expressed pride at the latest announcement in his district.

“Century Aluminum’s $116 million reinvestment for new technology and equipment creating over 250 new jobs in our community is a welcome announcement,” Sen. Bowen said. “I am proud to have this company as an economic partner in our region, and I certainly look forward to Century Aluminum’s future success as there’s plenty more come in Senate District 8.”

Rep. Dean Schamore, of Hardinsburg, shared his gratitude for those who helped secure the investment for Kentucky.

“This is great news for Century Aluminum as well as the entire region, and it speaks volumes about the company's future and our second-to-none workforce,” Rep. Schamore said. “I want to thank its leaders for taking this step.  I also appreciate the work of our local and state economic development leaders, who played an important role in making this possible.”

Hancock County Judge-Executive Jack McCaslin said the project will be a boon for the local workforce.

“We here in Hancock County are very excited about the news of Century Aluminum restarting the three idled pot lines,” Judge-Executive McCaslin said. “The rehiring of the 300 employees at Century Aluminum will be great for the laid off employees in Hancock County as well as our surrounding areas.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $5.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.  

In addition, Century can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

For more information on Century Aluminum, visit www.CenturyAluminum.com.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2017 totaled a state record $9.2 billion, spurring more than 17,200 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.

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