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Open house hosts Braidy Industries

Company to start construction this spring

Tuesday night, there was an open house at Portable Solutions Group in Worthington, Kentucky and the main topic was Braidy Industries and the $1.3 billion rolling aluminum mill they are building in Greenup, Kentucky.

Braidy Industries CEO and president Craig Bouchard talked about when the plant will start construction and how a recent acquisition will bring more jobs to the plant and help create a better product.

He said that everyone is asking when construction of the plant will start and he said that is complex question.

“There is paving of roads, planting of steel in the ground, before you can even get started,” he said, adding that it should in the spring. “The engineering is being finalized. It’s about 1,000 construction jobs. Maybe more.”

Bouchard said Braidy Industries has five competitors and that their mills were built three or four decades ago.

“They are world class competitors and they are all old. They are reasonably well-managed,” Bouchard said. “And we are going to literally kill all of them.”

He said Braidy Industries’ cost structure to make a better product is half of their competitors in every single case, whether the competitor is American, European, Chinese, or Japanese.

“We will have the lowest cost mill producing the finest product in the world,” Bouchard said. “This gives us an opportunity to change the world and that is going to happen.”

On Monday, Braidy Industries spent $75 million and acquired Veolxint, a Massachusetts-based company that developed a process to make aluminum products lighter and stronger.

The company will build a plant next to Braidy Industries in the EastPark Industrial Park off the Industrial Parkway in Greenup, Kentucky.

“So instead of 600 full-time jobs, we are going to have about 700,” Bouchard said.

He said Veolxint was incubated at MIT and they are making metal alloys today that are 10 percent lighter than ultra-high strength steel and roughly 500 percent stronger.

“That means they are making the strongest metal ever made by mankind,” Bouchard said. “And we are going to scale that up and produce alloys for the automotive, aerospace and tooling industries and U.S. Department of Defense.”

Bouchard said the company looked at 24 different sites to build their mill and chose Greenup because it is located within 24 hours of half of the automotive-making facilities in the U.S. and it has the best people. The site offers easy access to U.S. 64 and U.S. 23. and has railroad access at Wurtland.

“Which means in one day, we can ship to Ford, GM, BMW, Toyota. We can deliver to them in the morning, fill up the truck with scrap and that scrap will be back in our furnace that night,” he said. “That is the perfect storm of logistics. And that can only happen here.”

The company says it will be able to produce offer a broad array of aluminum roll and sheet, including 200,000 tons of series 6000 auto body sheet, 100,000 tons of series 5000 sheet and 70,000 tons of series 7000 aerospace plate annually. The company hopes to begin operations in 2020.

Rob Slagel, CEO and president of Portable Solutions Group, hosted the event at his company’s headquarters.

“I wanted to get all the industrialists in the Ohio valley in one big pile to meet one another and shake hands and get to meet the newest member of our family here in the Ohio Valley,” he said, adding the goal was to show the world what this region has to offer. There were also representatives from companies based in Fargo, North Dakota and Denmark.

Slagel said they were visiting the tri-state to see what the region had to offer, which is a great workforce that had been under-advertised. He said the Internet has changed how this area is marketed and that it is bringing people in.