New aluminum smelting furnace will boost production capacity
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 28, 2017) – Aluminum producer Audubon Metals LLC will expand its Henderson plant with a more than $8.3 million investment that will create 39 full-time jobs, Gov. Matt Bevin announced on Friday.
“Audubon Metals has been a steadfast employer and community partner in Henderson County for more than 20 years. We are pleased to announce this latest investment and new jobs by a company whose products are central to so many of Kentucky’s manufacturing operations – from automotive parts and vehicle assembly to the appliance industry and more,” Gov. Bevin said. “This expansion also further demonstrates the strength of Kentucky’s aluminum industry. I congratulate Audubon on its continued success and look forward to seeing additional growth in the future.”
Audubon will build a nearly 21,000-s.f. addition at its facility, enlarging it to more than 333,000 s.f. to house a fifth reverbatory furnace for aluminum smelting. As well, the project includes an extension of its ingot-casting line, expansion of its production storage building, and a new warehouse.
Audubon was approved for $1 million in incentives for the expansion and will hire 39 full-time employees at $24 per hour.
Audubon Metals president and CEO Jim Butkus said the changes will add production capacity to meet increased market demand.
“Since our Henderson, Ky. aluminum smelting operation began in 1996, Audubon Metals LLC has steadily grown its market share in providing quality products to the secondary aluminum die casting industry,” Butkus said. “This project will expand and diversify our product mix, and give us the required capacity to grow and enter new markets. Coupled with the contributions from our terrific associate employees and support from the Henderson, Ky. community, we are confident that we will continue to maintain our highest level of service to our customers and to our community.”
Using shredded automotive metal, Audubon separates, dries, melts and blends aluminum alloys to meet the specifications of individual customers. Diecasting companies throughout the Midwest use Audubon’s ingots to produce automotive parts, lighting and metering equipment, appliances and small-engine components.
Audubon, a subsidiary of Evansville, Ind.-based Koch Enterprises Inc., opened the Henderson facility with 55 employees and a monthly capacity of 7 million pounds. It now employs 270 and can produce more than 30 million pounds monthly.
Kentucky’s aluminum industry has seen significant growth, particularly as automakers, seeking higher fuel efficiency, turn to lightweight aluminum components including body panels, mechanical components and housings. Since 2015, Kentucky has announced more than $2 billion in aluminum-related corporate investment and about 2,100 new, full-time jobs.
Sen. Dorsey Ridley, of Henderson, welcomed the new project.
“This investment by Audubon Metals will provide much needed new jobs and a boost to our economic climate,” Sen. Ridley said. “A longtime employer in Henderson, the company continues to be a strong component in the healthy growth and development of our community. We wish them every success in the future.”
Rep. Robby Mills, of Henderson, commended the company for its growth.
“Audubon Metals is a highly respected company that was selected as the Henderson Chamber’s Industry of the Year in 2012,” Rep. Mills said. “They have grown and grown, and I am delighted that they continue to do so.”
Henderson County Judge-Executive Brad Schneider said the new investment and jobs mean great things for the county economically.
“Audubon Metals is one of Henderson’s most active and engaged corporate citizens, as well as one its most respected and efficient manufacturers,” Judge-Executive Schneider said. “They offer some of the best-paying jobs in their sector in the region. The company’s growth here is a blessing on multiple levels, and we are so proud and thankful they continue to make investments in Northwestern Kentucky and its people. Congratulations to Audubon Metals.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in July preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $1.01 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.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Audubon for up to $90,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Audubon also 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 2016, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for nearly 95,000 Kentuckians and 5,000 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
For more information on Audubon Metals, visit www.audubonmetals.com.
A detailed community profile for Henderson County can be viewed at http://bit.ly/HendersonCo.