Braidy executives give update on plans for aluminum plant

By  | 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Braidy Industries still needs to raise $500 million to build a long-promised $1.7 billion aluminum plant in Appalachia, a company executive told Kentucky lawmakers Tuesday.

Company officials appeared before the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee after a recent management shakeup raised concerns about the project’s viability.

Braidy executives expressed confidence that the project will become a reality, along with the 1,500 construction jobs and more than 650 full-time jobs once the plant starts production.

“We’re putting everything we have into this to make it a reality,” said Tom Modrowski, who stepped in as Braidy’s CEO to replace Craig Bouchard.

Kentucky taxpayers have a direct stake in Braidy’s plans to build the aluminum rolling mill near Ashland in northeastern Kentucky. During his term, former Gov. Matt Bevin persuaded lawmakers to approve a $15 million state investment in the project.

Committee members said they’re rooting for Braidy to succeed, but also asked pointed questions about the company’s finances. In response, Modrowski said the company has $65 million on hand and commitments for $200 million in financing. The company still needs to raise $500 million, which it hopes to do so by year’s end, he said.

Braidy’s board made the leadership changes because it wanted faster progress, he said.