Kobe Steel, Ltd’s U.S. subsidiary Kobelco Aluminum Products & Extrusions Inc. (KPEX) inaugurated a new aluminium extrusions plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky on Wednesday.
The plant, which is one of two operated by Kobelco in Bowling Green, manufactures and sells aluminium extrusions and fabricated products to buyers in the United States. The plant runs an end-to-end operation, taking raw aluminium ingot through either melting or casting and on to finishing to a final product.
As a result of increased demand, KPEX opted to increase output last year, yielding the improvements debuted earlier this week. In coming months the plant will see further additions, including a new melting furnace and extrusion press, which will double capacity to 1,000 tons per month and add another 90 workers to the labor force. The next set of improvements is slated to come online and begin production at some point next year.
Yukimasa Miyashita, senior managing executive officer and head of the Aluminum & Copper Business, said the ongoing expansions at the Bowling Green plant are the firm’s response to a growing need for lighter automotive components.
“We’re growing our business and enhancing our presence as a manufacturer of aluminum extruded parts for cars. In this way, we continue to meet the need for lighter cars that meet fuel efficiency regulations and stronger collision safety regulations in North America.”
“Kobelco has been a strong employer in Bowling Green for a number of years,” said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. “This new facility and its ongoing expansion are further evidence that their partnership with Kentucky continues to be a great fit, and we look forward to even more growth in the future. Congratulations to both the company and the Warren County community on this significant step forward in support of the commonwealth’s thriving automotive industry.”