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Former Braidy CEO taking the elevator up

Backer of proposed aluminum plant is now co-chair of Space Railway Corp.

May 18, 2022

Craig Bouchard, formerly part of the executive team of the stalled Braidy Industries (now Unity Aluminum) project in Kentucky, has reemerged as the co-chair of the board of Space Railway Corp.

The Dallas-based company describes itself as working toward developing a “space transportation infrastructure [that] is scalable in its numbers and size. It will have the ability to provide railway-like efficiencies in delivering passengers and payload through our solar system.”

In a biography posted to the Space Railway Corp. website, Bouchard is described as having “co-founded three metals companies that achieved over $1 billion of revenue within 18 months. The first, Esmark grew from $4 million of revenue in 2003 to nearly $4 billion in 2008, becoming the highest appreciating stock on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq for the full year 2008.”

West Virginia-based steelmaker Esmark was acquired in August 2008 by Russia-based OAO Severstal. The Russian metals firm paid $775 million for Esmark’s steelmaking, service center and coking coal assets. Six years later, Steel Dynamics Inc. paid more than $1.6 billion for one of those mills (in Mississippi) while the former AK Steel paid $700 for another mill, in Michigan.

From 2017 to February 2020, Bouchard was the chair and CEO of Braidy Industries. That firm announced its intention to build a $1.3 billion aluminum plant in Kentucky. It attracted a $15 million investment from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and a potential $200 million commitment from Russian metals producer Rusal.

The project has yet to move much past the groundbreaking stage, however, and Bouchard was removed from his positions in February 2020 and then sued the company afterward.

On its website, Space Railway Corp. seems to indicate it will require considerable investor backing. “America needs a transformational system that provides the frequency, safety, and cost to efficiently move payload and passengers into orbit and beyond—or lose its preeminence in space,” the company says. “It will entail a second ‘moon shot’ level effort worthy of our people and ingenuity.”