Alcoa to Expand Auto Sheet Capacity
Alcoa announced a second major North American expansion to meet the growing demand for light, durable and recyclable aluminum sheet for automotive production. The company will invest $275 million over the next three years to expand and convert capacity at its rolling mill in Alcoa, Tenn., to support automotive producers’ plans to use more aluminum sheet to increase fuel efficiency, safety, durability and performance of cars and light trucks. The expansion will add 200 full-time, high-value jobs upon completion. In addition, more than 400 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project, which will convert some of the plant’s can sheet capacity to high-strength automotive aluminum capacity.
The Tennessee expansion is scheduled to begin this month and be completed by mid-2015. The project will incorporate, through Alcoa’s supply chain, the proprietary “Alcoa 951” pre-treatment bonding technology, which enables adhesive bonding of automotive structures and is facilitating more cost-effective, mass production of aluminum-intensive vehicles. Alcoa, which anticipates a quadrupling of auto sheet volume by 2015 and a tenfold increase by 2025, previously announced a $300 million expansion of its Davenport, Iowa, plant.