BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. celebrated the opening of their Bowling Green facility Wednesday. Company officials were joined by Consul-General of Japan in Nashville, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, state and local officials and the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, along with customers and business partners, for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Established in 2016, Kobelco maunfactures and sells aluminum extrusions and fabricated products, and is the U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based company Kobe Steel, Ltd. Kobelco previously announced their expansion plans and an additional $42 million capital investment in December 2018. The company is adding an additional melting furnace and extrusion press that will double production capacity to meet customer demand, creating 90 new jobs once the project is complete.
“We’re growing our business and enhancing our presence as a manufacturer of aluminum extruded parts for cars,” said Yukimasa Miyashita, senior managing executive officer and head of the Aluminum & Copper Business of Kobe Steel. “In this way, we continue to meet the need for lighter cars that meet fuel efficiency regulations, and continue to contribute to the growth of the local economy.”
The expansion will help the company continue to capitalize on the aluminum market in the automotive industry. With fuel efficiency in high demand among car buyers, companies like Kobelco are paving the way for aluminum car parts that make vehicles lighter and less harmful to the environment.
“Kobelco has been a strong employer in Bowling Green for a number of years,” Gov. Matt Bevin said. “This new facility and its ongoing expansion are further evidence that their partnership with Kentucky continues to be a great fit, and we look forward to even more growth in the future. Congratulations to both the company and the Warren County community on this significant step forward in support of the commonwealth’s thriving automotive industry.”
“We are very proud that Kobelco has chosen to once again expand their current operation in the South Central Kentucky Industrial Park,” said Warren County judge-executive Mike Buchanon. “They continue to lead the growing industry of vehicle “light-weighting” and we appreciate their commitment to advancement here in Warren County.”
“We’re excited to see Kobelco’s continued success and appreciate their impact on our local economy,” shared Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “South Central Kentucky’s aluminum industry is thriving and Kobelco has taken advantage of this growth, capitalizing on the opportunities provided here.”
“It’s always exciting when a first-class company like Kobelco surpasses their initial investment and job creation here in Bowling Green,” said Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch. “The impact an additional 90 full-time jobs will have on Warren County will improve the quality of life for many in our community.”
Climbing from number six in 2013 to number one in 2018, Bowling Green has been ranked for six consecutive years in Site Selection Magazine’s “Top 10 Metro Areas for New and Expanded Facilities” among metro areas with populations less than 200,000. Bowling Green was also ranked 2018’s ‘Best Place to Live in Kentucky’ by TIME.com.
The Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce has closed seven economic development projects totaling $349.6 million in capital investment and approximately 905 new jobs for 2019.