Century Aluminum Announces Ceremonial Restart of Kentucky Smelter with Commerce Secretary Ross
23 August 2018
Century Aluminum, America's largest primary aluminum producer, today announced the ceremonial restart of its smelter in Hawesville, Kentucky, that will return the facility to full capacity, create nearly 300 new American jobs by early next year and result in the investment of more than $150 million in the local economy. Today's ceremony marked the return to full production of the first of three production lines to be restarted at the smelter, which has already hired more than 125 new employees since the announcement of the Section 232 tariffs in March 2018.
"We're thrilled to be joined by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as we strengthen our economic footprint in Hawesville and bring back hundreds of jobs to Western Kentucky," said Michael Bless, CEO of Century Aluminum. "The Trump administration's trade policies have provided much needed relief to America's primary aluminum workers – leveling the playing field and ensuring that the U.S. primary aluminum industry maintains its competitiveness on the world stage. Today's restart will allow us to return to 100 percent capacity in the months ahead while upgrading our smelting technology to ensure we remain competitive long into the future. We want to publicly thank President Donald Trump and Secretary Ross for their leadership on this issue."
"I'm pleased to celebrate Century Aluminum's reopening of the first of three pot lines that will in turn support America's manufacturing independence and enhance our national security," said Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. "The aluminum sector has weathered the hardships caused by unfair foreign trade practices. For too long, the government ignored repeated warnings of the impact on the U.S. aluminum sector and its ability to support our armed forces. President Trump's initiatives are addressing the very problems previous leadership failed to confront with the urgency that these threats presented. This administration remains steadfast in our Made in the U.S.A. commitment."
"We are grateful for the investment made by Century Aluminum in one of Kentucky's signature industries," said Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. "Century's products coming out of Hawesville and Sebree are in demand in Kentucky, across the United States, and around the world. There is no better place in America to produce high-quality aluminum, and we're delighted to see the Century facility operating at full capacity and bringing hundreds of jobs back to the local community."
A major driver of local economic growth, Century Aluminum will invest nearly $150 million in the facility to upgrade smelting technology, train existing employees to use new equipment, and add specialty positions, including welders, mechanics and engineers. For the past three years, the Hawesville smelter has operated at just 40 percent capacity. With today's restart, the facility will return to full production and add nearly 300 jobs by early next year.
Century's Hawesville smelter produces aluminum that supplies the defense and aerospace industries, with a majority of Hawesville's production lines configured to produce military-grade aluminum, making the smelter the largest producer of military-grade aluminum in North America. Hawesville was one of the many smelters forced to curtail operations in late 2015 as global aluminum overcapacity devastated the U.S. primary aluminum industry, threatening American national security and leading to the loss of thousands of American primary aluminum jobs.
About Century Aluminum
Century Aluminum Company is the largest primary aluminum producer in the United States, with three operating aluminum smelters in Kentucky and South Carolina. For more information: www.centuryaluminum.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements about future events and are based on our current expectations. These forward-looking statements may be identified by the words "believe," "expect," "hope," "target," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "seek," "estimate," "potential," "project," "scheduled," "forecast" or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "could," "might," or "may." Our forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements with respect to: the future impact of the Section 232 tariffs to Century or the aluminum industry in general; the future operation of our smelters, including plans to restart curtailed production and any costs, benefits or actions associated therewith; future investment in the Hawesville restart and our other operations, including future investments in new technology or other production improvements; our ability to hire and retain qualified employees; future global and local financial and economic conditions; our assessment of the aluminum market and aluminum prices (including premiums); our ability to procure alumina, carbon products and other raw materials and our assessment of pricing and costs and other terms relating thereto; the future financial and operating performance of Century, its subsidiaries and its projects; future earnings, operating results and liquidity; our future business objectives, strategies and initiatives.
Where we express an expectation or belief as to future events or results, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. However, our forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties which may cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed, projected or implied by those forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results and events to differ from those described in such forward-looking statements can be found in the risk factors and forward-looking statements cautionary language contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and in other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we have attempted to identify those material factors that could cause actual results or events to differ from those described in such forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that could cause results or events to differ from those anticipated, estimated or intended. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to control or predict. Given these uncertainties, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.