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U.S. aluminum capacity builds

By Corinna Petry

Constellium, UACJ joint venture solidifies to make automotive sheet

March 10, 2016 - Constellium N.V., the Netherlands, and UACJ Corp., Japan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand their existing joint venture to produce automotive body-in-white (BiW) sheet in the United States.

Under the expanded joint venture, Constellium and UACJ contemplate a joint investment in two previously announced 100-kiloton finishing lines (90,718 metric tons), which would be funded 51 percent by Constellium and 49 percent by Tri-Arrows Aluminium Holdings, a U.S. affiliate of UACJ. Location of the finishing lines has yet to be decided.

This agreement to share investments in the finishing lines with UACJ enables Constellium to reduce its estimated capital requirement to fund its total BiW investments in the U.S. to approximately $340 million, down from $620 million announced in October 2015.

"We are fully committed to our BiW strategy and well placed to execute it,” says Constellium CEO Pierre Vareille. Under the plan, the aluminum producer will support its automotive customers in a fast-expanding North American market.

The Constellium and UACJ joint venture has already invested in a first finishing line in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which is expected to begin pre-qualification production mid-2016 and ramp-up in 2017 as planned. MM

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