GHENT, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2017) – Gov. Matt Bevin today joined local officials, international dignitaries, executives from North American Stainless (NAS) and board members of its Spanish parent, Acerinox S.A., to inaugurate the Ghent facility’s new $150 million bright and annealing line, a project creating 36 full-time jobs.
“With the opening of this new production line, North American Stainless – already a key member of Kentucky’s primary metals industry – positions itself to capture even greater market share as the nation’s primary producer of this specialty stainless steel,” Gov. Bevin said. “NAS’ employee count and strong economic impact continue to increase with this expansion, and we are thankful for the ongoing commitment of both NAS and Acerinox to Kentucky.”
The project, announced in March 2015, also includes a new cold rolling mill. Since establishing NAS in 1990, Madrid-based Acerinox has expanded the Carroll County facility 11 times, investing more than $2.6 billion. NAS is already the largest stainless steel producer in the US and holds 35 percent of the North American market share. The mill employs more than 1,400 people.
During the event, Acerinox CEO and NAS Board Chairman Bernardo Velázquez said the project is further increasing the plant’s capacity.
“These new investments result in an increase of almost 10 percent in the plant’s production capacity and they allow Acerinox to increase its range of products and expand markets,” Velázquez said. “The new lines create products of higher added value, increase the steelworks and hot rolling capacity and improve competitiveness of the plant.”
Annealed stainless steel is easier for downstream manufacturers to bend, form and otherwise work. As well, its higher quality surface requires less finishing. Bright and annealed stainless steel is typically used in appliances, auto trim, cookware, truck trailers and mass transit vehicles, heaters and surgical instruments.
Along with Gov. Bevin and Velázquez, the dedication included Spain’s Ambassador to the US, Pedro Morenés; Spanish Consul General in Chicago, Federico Palomera Guez; the Acerinox Group board of directors, led by its Chairman Rafael Miranda; NAS CEO Cristóbal Fuentes; and NAS employees.
Sen. Paul Hornback, of Shelbyville, said the company has made its mark on the community.
“North American Stainless has proven itself to be a great community and economic partner for our region since locating in Kentucky in 1990,” Sen. Hornback said. “I am excited for the company’s newest expansion in Ghent and look forward to the company’s continual success and growth here in Kentucky.”
Rep. Rick Rand, of Bedford, said the commitment is a reflection of the local workforce.
“North American Stainless has been an outstanding corporate partner for more than a quarter of a century, and today’s ribbon cutting is further proof of the company’s commitment to our community and second-to-none workforce,” Rep. Rand said. “I’m proud to join with state and local leaders and North American Stainless officials to celebrate this great event.”
Carroll County Judge-Executive Bobby Lee Westrick pointed to the company’s long-term success in commending the investment.
“North American Stainless has been an outstanding industrial leader in Carroll County since 1990,” Judge-Executive Westrick said. “This latest expansion continues an impressive trend in growth and development that strengthens our local community and demonstrates that we are a leading rural community in the state and country. We are proud that North American Stainless calls Carroll County, and the Kentucky I-71 Connected region, its home.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in March 2015 preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $4 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 NAS for up to $600,000 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.
NAS 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 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.