Two businesses plan large investments in Kentucky

(The Center Square) – Two companies have announced plans to invest nearly $350 million in Kentucky and create more than 200 new jobs in separate projects.

North American Stainless and LioChem e-Materials were two of the six companies approved for incentives at Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority monthly meeting, Gov. Andy Beshear announced.

In a statement, the governor noted the announcements follow what his administration has called the most successful two years for business attraction and expansion in the state’s history. During that span, businesses invested nearly $22 billion in projects and are expected to create roughly 35,000 jobs.

“And we’re not slowing down,” he said. “We’re starting off 2023 the way we finished 2022, by bringing significant job-creating economic development projects to the commonwealth.”

According to documents from the KEDFA meeting, North American Stainless plans a $244 million expansion of its facility in Carroll County, located halfway between Louisville and Cincinnati on the Ohio River. The company produces high-end stainless steel and is considering purchasing $163 million in new equipment to bolster production.

The steelmaker plans to hire 70 new workers at its Ghent plant who would earn an average hourly rate, including benefits, of $36.79.

NAS CEO Cristobal Fuentes said the company has invested more than $3 billion in the state since the company was founded in 1990.

“This is the biggest investment from Spain in the United States. We manage 50% of stainless steel made in North America. This demonstrates our commitment to our customers and to Kentucky.”

NAS received preliminary approval for nearly $3 million in tax incentives. That includes $2.5 million over 15 years in Kentucky Business Investment Program incentives.

Beshear also announced the state has attracted another company associated with the electric vehicle battery market. In the KEDFA packet, LioChem e-Materials said it’s considering Franklin, a city 30 minutes south of Bowling Green at the Tennessee state line, for a $104.4 million plan that would make components to improve the capacity and quality of the rechargeable EV batteries.

LioChem expects to hire 141 workers at an average wage and benefit rate of $29 an hour.

The authority gave preliminary approval for up to $4.2 million in incentives, which include $4 million in KBIP incentives over 10 years.