The Department of Energy recently announced a conditional commitment for a $259 million loan to Alcoa Inc. The commitment is part of the administration’s effort to support advanced vehicles that are more affordable for Americans to drive, strengthen U.S. leadership in manufacturing advanced vehicle technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased fuel efficiency.
This conditional commitment is the first issued by the department under the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program since Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a number of improvements to the program last year, and is the first step toward issuing a final loan to Alcoa. If finalized, the loan would support the company’s Alcoa, Tenn., manufacturing facility, where the company will produce high-strength aluminum for North American automakers looking to lightweight their vehicles.
“The Department’s ATVM loan program can play an important role in helping to finance expanded domestic manufacturing of fuel-efficient technologies that will support the next generation of advanced vehicles and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Moniz. “To date, the program has supported the production of millions of American-made cars that are more fuel-efficient and technologically advanced than previous models.”
“Alcoa’s innovative, high-strength aluminum solutions are leading the lightweighting revolution now happening in the automotive industry,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Alcoa chairman and CEO. “Alcoa is pleased to be part of the government’s program to encourage a greater shift to aluminum-intensive vehicles that are safer, lighter and more fuel-efficient.”
“This is good news for Alcoa and Tennessee,” said Senator Lamar Alexander. “Today, more than one-third of Tennessee manufacturing jobs are auto related, and investment in advanced manufacturing is an important part of how our state will continue to attract good-paying jobs.”
The plant’s expansion will provide additional aluminum sheet manufacturing capacity intended for the U.S. automotive market.
Alcoa estimates that its expanded production is expected to create an additional 200 permanent full-time jobs, in addition to 400 jobs at the peak of construction.