• 64°

Unity Aluminum backer suspends investment

The Greenup, Kentucky-based Unity Aluminum company may be losing a major backer unless they can come up with more funding for a long-promised aluminum plant.

It was announced in Bloomberg that Rusal, as of March 17, was suspending investment in the company until the company can raise more money and that it has already invested $65 million into the project.

In April 2019, Rusal, a Russian aluminum company that is one of the world’s largest producer of aluminum outside of China, announced that the company would invest $200 million in the company, which was then known as Braidy Industries.

Bloomberg quotes Rusal deputy CEO Oleg Mukhamedshin as saying, “Unfortunately, our partner failed to contribute necessary equity from their side, [and] then [there] was a substantial change of management and the shareholder structure of Braidy Industries. We put on hold any further investments of the project as per our agreement, and we still expect our partners to raise necessary financing after the COVID pandemic gets better.”

Braidy Industries broke ground at the EastPark business/industrial park in June 2018 for what was to be the first new greenfield rolling plant to be built the U.S. in 37 years.

It was to be up and running in 2020, but is still in the planning stage.

While Rusal has suspended investing,

Commonwealth of Kentucky agreed to not demand back $15 million the state had invested in the project in 2017.

The board of Commonwealth Seed Capital, a Kentucky government venture fund that invests in companies, voted in February to grant an extension for the funds until March 2022.

The project is supposed to be a $1.3 billion plant with 45 acres of factory will be under roof and the mill will be producing milled aluminum for use in the automotive, airline, and defense industries. 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.