Expanding its product mix has meant expansion of the workforce at Russellville’s Logan Aluminum.
The company opened the first phase of its expansion in late October and also broke ground for the second phase. Together, the expansions represent more than $400 million in new investments and will create about 250 jobs.
Logan Aluminum, which began production in 1983 and has long been known for its production of aluminum for beverage cans, is boosting its capacity for producing aluminum for beverage cans and for the automotive industry.
A Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development news release said the first phase of the expansion increases the plant’s recycling and new ingot casting capabilities by adding a 280,000-square-foot building. A $42.6 million investment that is part of the expansion will prepare the plant to manufacture thicker-gauge aluminum for products such as automotive sheet.
The expansions will mean Logan Aluminum will have more than 50 acres under roof on its 1,000-acre site.
Logan Aluminum Plant Manager Ken Perdue said his company is taking advantage of a growing market for aluminum.
“It’s an exciting time for aluminum, and it’s a really exciting time for aluminum in Kentucky,” Perdue said. “We’re developing new capabilities. We’ve been a strong presence in the can market for years. Now we want to develop new capabilities.”
The Aluminum Association said automakers are expected to continue to increase the adoption of low-weight aluminum in new car and truck manufacturing. Total aluminum content is expected to grow from 397 pounds per vehicle to 565 by 2028 as automakers look for lighter materials to improve fuel economy and driving performance.
The second phase of the expansion, which involves building a 65,000-square-foot cold rolling mill, will address that growing demand. The $125 million project, expected to create 60 full-time jobs, is scheduled to be completed in early 2019. It will add capacity for both beverage can stock and heavier-gauge rolled sheet for use in automotive body and structural panels.
The expansions could move Logan Aluminum up on the list of southcentral Kentucky’s largest employers. On the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce website, the company is listed as having 1,135 employees, making it the region’s third-largest manufacturer behind Dart Container and Bowling Green…