Braidy Industries returned $15 million to Kentucky after plans to build an aluminum mill in northeastern Kentucky failed to materialize. The legislature appropriated the money in 2017 after promises that the project would bring hundreds of jobs to the Ashland area. Governor Andy Beshear says the money will now go back to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority to help secure another private sector investment in the state.
Legislators grilled Braidy executives for several years because the project hit delays and funding issues. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony in 2018 near the City of South Shore, but no significant construction occurred on the site.
Senate Appropriations and Revenue Chairman Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Ryland Heights) praised the legislature for keeping attention on what he called “Braidy Industries and Unity Aluminum’s deceptions and failure to follow through on their promise to Kentucky taxpayers.” He said he was “disappointed for the people of Ashland and eastern Kentucky.”
Braidy, now known as Unity Aluminum, will donate the 205 acres back to the Northeast Kentucky Regional Industrial Authority for future development. “I am confident we will secure a significant project on the property,” Beshear said. “It is a great site for a potential employer.” The authority is also negotiating to acquire additional parcels of land owned by the company.