15 May 2013

Japanese-owned Kobe Aluminium to invest $66 million and add 100 new jobs in Kentucky

Frankfort, Ky. – 15 May 2013 – Governor Steve Beshear today joined company and local officials at Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC (KAAP) in Bowling Green to break ground on the company’s second expansion in recent months. Kobe Aluminum plans to add an 87,000-square-foot building, resulting in 100 new, full-time jobs and a capital investment of up to $66 million. 

The news comes on the heels of another expansion announcement at the plant. In November 2012, Gov. Beshear and company officials announced Kobe Aluminum would invest $11 million in Bowling Green for the construction of a new 39,000-square-foot building on One Kobe Way in Bowling Green, creating 15 new, full-time jobs. 

“I was fortunate to be here in November to announce a significant expansion for Kobe Aluminum, but this one is even better, with 100 more jobs and a $66 million investment on the way,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are proud to have Kobe here in the Commonwealth, and especially happy to see the company’s continued growth and success.” 

Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC, a joint venture of Kobe Steel Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, has been a corporate citizen in south central Kentucky since 2005. The plant currently has more than 270 full-time employees and has invested more than $100 million in its Bowling Green facility since opening its doors. 

There are 11 Kobe Steel subsidiaries in the United States, but the Bowling Green location is the only U.S. facility to forge aluminum suspension products for the automotive industry. The new, 87,000-square-foot addition makes room for new furnaces, casting machines, forging presses and advanced presses used to meet increasing demand for high- quality precision aluminum components for the automobile industry. 

“Kobe Steel had many options when we decided to establish this business in Bowling Green,” said Susumu (Sam) Koike, KAAP president and CEO. “We have had great experiences working in Kentucky, and we have never regretted our decision. The Commonwealth made the decision for additional investment easy by offering financial incentives. I assure you, we do not take these incentives for granted and will do our best to fulfill our employment obligations to make this incentive program both a business success for KAAP and an economic success for Kentucky.” 

To encourage the additional investment and job growth in Bowling Green, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment. 

Kobe Aluminum previously received preliminary approval for its initial expansion project in the amount of $325,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program, which is expected to be increased at the time of final approval to reflect the increased job growth and investment. A separate KEIA approval in the amount of $144,000 was also previously granted. 

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2012 totaled nearly $2.7 billion with the creation of more than 14,000 new jobs. 

Source: Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development