American Specialty Alloys Inc. will develop a $2.4 billion aluminum mill and campus in central Louisiana to serve the automotive and aerospace industries, officials said Friday.
Work is expected to begin this year in Pineville on a 3,000-acre Red River campus that will carry an annual payroll of more than $100 million, according to corporate and state officials.
ASA expects to create 1,450 new jobs, including 850 direct ASA employees and 600 employees of corporate partners who will provide materials, logistics and fabrication services for the mill.
The jobs are expected to pay an average annual salary of $70,500, plus benefits.
ASA plans to construct its manufacturing facility at a 1,200-acre mill complex owned and formerly operated by International Paper in Rapides Parish.
The aluminum mill is scheduled to begin hiring next year. Facilities for ASA’s partners — Advanced Processes Inc., American Speciality Processing LLC and Columbus Recycling Corp. — are targeted for completion in 2020.
ASA estimates development of the aluminum mill will support 2,000 construction jobs.
“When the IP mill closed several years ago, we pledged that we would work on securing a project that would bring good jobs back to that location,” Gov. Bobby Jindal said.
ASA’s plans call for an eventual 3,000-acre campus to accommodate all aspects of the aluminum manufacturing process. The company plans to include a melting and casting mill; hot- and cold-rolling mills for sheet and plate; and slit- and cut-to-length production lines.
All that work is expected to produce 1.3 billion pounds of aluminum annually. That aluminum primarily will be used by automakers as car and truck side-panels, doors, hoods and unibody frames. The ASA announcement comes as vehicle manufacturers are seeking lighter metals in place of steel in order to meet federally mandated fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks.
“American Specialty Alloys set out in 2014 to identify a site for its future operations,” ASA founder, Chairman and CEO Roger Boggs said. “We spent considerable time and resources looking at potential candidates across the southern states, a strategic area for our operations, suppliers and customers.”
ASA selected the former IP containerboard mill property in Pineville after evaluating competing sites in Texas, Alabama and Mississippi.
“In Louisiana,” Boggs said, “we found a high level of coordination and cooperation among state agencies and with local site-service providers.”
The Louisiana Department of Economic Development offered ASA a performance-based grant of $34 million to offset site-related infrastructure costs, payable in installments upon the company meeting capital investment and payroll targets. State officials also approved ASA’s use of the LED FastStart job-training services.
In addition, the company is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
The Quality Jobs program provides an eligible company a cash rebate of up to 6 percent of its annual payroll for as long as a decade. The Industrial Tax Exemption offers abatement of local property taxes for a decade on its new facilities.
In addition to that support, the Red River Waterway Commission authorized creation of a new port to serve the aluminum mill.
Danieli Group has been selected to provide technology services and mill equipment, while Yates Construction LLC has been tapped to build the mill facilities.
For more than a year, the Alexandria metropolitan area, which includes Pineville, has experienced a steady loss of jobs.
“The decision by ASA to locate here is transformative for the region,” said President and CEO Jim Clinton, of the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.