Another western Kentucky aluminum smelter has given notice that it intends to shut down in a year because of increasing electric rates.
Media reported the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in the Webster County town of Sebree gave notice Friday of its intention to follow the lead of Century Aluminum in Hawesville. Century filed its notice in August.
The notice from Rio Tinto Alcan comes as Big Rivers Electric Corp. seeks a substantial rate increase citing the impending loss of Century, its biggest customer.
Rio Tinto Alcan spokesman Kenny Barkley said Big Rivers is seeking a rate increase from $50 per megawatt now to $60 per megawatt, and that rate isn't sustainable. The smelter has 488 employees.
Kobe Automotive Products plans to invest more than $66 million in their plant at the South Industrial Park for both a building expansion and new equipment.
In November, the company announced an $11 million investment for an additional 39,000 square feet of space and up to 20 new jobs. That expansion is now complete.
Most of Kobe's new investment, $44.2 million, will go toward purchasing new equipment to expand their product line of forged aluminum suspension products. In addition, $20 million will be spent on a new building project. There was no mention of any new jobs being created by the expansion.
Another change in Kentucky’s financial outlook has the state’s business leaders calling on the General Assembly for immediate pension reforms.
Standard and Poor’s has changed Kentucky’s outlook to negative, citing the state's large unfunded pension obligations as the main reason.
In response, the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, as well as 50 other business groups, held a news conference to demand that lawmakers pass the recommendations from last year’s pension task force as they were presented.
Chamber President and former Owensboro mayor David Adkission said the change is the best reason for why reforms need to happen soon.
Supporters of a bill to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to sell wine are scheduled to unveil the details of their legislative proposal Thursday. State Senator Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro and fellow Republican Representative Jon Lundberg of Bristol are the main sponsors of the measure that would end the exclusive right of liquor stores to sell wine in Tennessee.
The measure is expected to seek to put the option of whether to allow wider wine sales o the voters in local cities and counties. The Republican House and Senate speakers support the change. But opponents argue the change would unfairly disrupt the existing business rules that liquor store owners invested under, and that the measure would make higher-alcohol drinks more widely available to minors.
General Motors is enhancing its footprint in Bowling Green. Officials gathered at the Corvette plant Wednesday to announce a $3.5 million investment. The automaker is moving its performance built center from Michigan to Bowling Green.
The center specializes in building high performance engines. GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones says the move is expected to create or retain 20 jobs.
“We’re working out the details with the international union and ourselves on how we’re going to bring those folks down, but they have the right to follow the work," said Jones.