Alcoa to Expand Iowa Aluminum Rolled Products Plant

Aluminum company will invest $300 million at its Davenport, Iowa, plant as demand from the automotive sector increases.

September 20, 2011
Recycling Today Staff

Alcoa has announced plans to expand its Davenport, Iowa aluminum rolled products plant to meet rising demand from the automotive market.

The company says that it will invest an estimated $300 million on the expansion, which will take the company’s aerospace materials facility and create a production facility dedicated to the automotive market. The growth project will create an additional 150 full time jobs in Davenport once completed, bringing total employment to more than 2,300 jobs. The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

“The automotive market is a tremendous growth opportunity for Alcoa over the next several years,” says Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa chairman and CEO in a press announcement. “Our leading-edge technology solutions and our world-class manufacturing capabilities, combined with our dedicated and highly-engaged workforce, put us in an enviable position in the market and bodes well for future growth.

“The automotive market has long lead times and much of this expansion we are announcing today is for business already secured. However, we see huge opportunity beyond this for our leading technology solutions in this market, including our patented Alcoa 951 technology, which we expect to license throughout the industry,” says Helmut Wieser, Alcoa’s executive vice president and group president of Alcoa Global Rolled Products.

Alcoa 951 is used to improve adhesive bonding for vehicle assemblies. The process is used as a pretreatment for aluminum alloy sheet, extrusions and castings to improve bonding performance. In customer trials, tests have shown it as being four to nine times stronger than titanium zirconium applications used in the automotive industry.

An economic development incentive package from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) helped secure the selection of Davenport for the expansion. The incentive package includes tax, financing and research and development credits as well as training grants for the Davenport workforce and new employees.