Kentucky recoups $15M from Bevin administration’s mill investment

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — A $15 million investment made by former governor Matt Bevin for an aluminum mill in northeastern Kentucky that never materialized was recouped, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday during his Team Kentucky update.

The land, which was previously acquired as part of the proposed project, will also be donated back to the local communities to be used for future economic development opportunities as part of a larger land transaction being negotiated. The money has been returned to Commonwealth Seed Capital. That group will send the dollars to Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, which will administer the money in accordance with the funding appropriation.

Beshear said the $15 million was approved by the state in 2017 for a planned investment by Braidy Industries to construct an aluminum mill in Boyd and Greenup counties. The project didn’t come to fruition and Braidy – now known as Unity Aluminum (Unity) – recently entered into a joint venture with Steel Dynamics Inc. In addition to the return of funds by Unity, the joint venture between SDI and Unity has reached an agreement in principle to donate the property the mill was to be built – approximately 205 acres and a spec building – to the original owner, the Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Authority.

“This announcement has been a long time coming, and I want to recognize members of this administration and Commonwealth Seed Capital, as well as Unity Aluminum, for coming together to do what is right for the community and Kentucky by returning these funds to the commonwealth,” Beshear said. “Given the current economic momentum we are experiencing across the state, I am confident we will secure a significant project on the property, as it is a great site for a potential employer.”

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