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A new aluminum smelter could be coming to northeastern Kentucky


Governor Beshear was recently joined by five County Judge Executives to announce a new aluminum smelter could be coming to northeastern Kentucky. The state officials announced that the Department of Energy has awarded Century Aluminum Company $500 million to build the facility and the company has identified the region as their preferred location.

Governor Andy Beshear said Century Aluminum plans on building the first primary aluminum smelter in the United States in 45 years.

“I believe this will be the first green aluminum smelter in the world, and they’re planning on doing it right here. The smelter would be the largest investment on record in Eastern Kentucky. We believe it would bring 5,500 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent union jobs with strong wages,” said Beshear.

The smelter would double the size of the current U.S. primary aluminum industry while avoiding an estimated 75 percent of emissions that a traditional smelter would let out due to its state-of-the-art, energy-efficient design and use of carbon-free energy.

The other Judge Executives in attendance included Eric Chaney of Boyd County, Bobby Hall of Greenup County, Phillip Carter of Lawrence County, Brandon Burton of Carter County, and Myron Lewis of Elliot County.

Judge Executive Chaney said this is an incredible opportunity for an area that has been through the wringer in years past.

“We’re on the rise, and we’ve got a great team in Eastern Kentucky. All five county judges here, the Governor, Rocky. You know, we all have each other’s backs, and teamwork, teamwork’s what’s going to make it happen. So, I just want to say thank you for this opportunity,” said Chaney.

It is not yet known exactly where the facility would be built. The DOE said that all project components and funding amounts are subject to change during award negotiations and as the project proceeds.

Plans for four other projects to create jobs in the commonwealth were also announced. More information about the economic efforts can be found here.