More automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are switching from steel to aluminium products as they seek to increase the fuel efficiency, safety, durability and performance of the cars they produce.
The $300M expansion will make the aerospace materials facility -- known across the globe for its 220-inch wide mill, the largest in the world.
The project will create an additional 150 full time jobs in Davenport once completed, bringing total employment to more than 2300 jobs. In addition, during construction, an incremental 150 jobs will be created durin construction. The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
A study of automakers by Ducker Worldwide, released earlier this month, showed automakers will increase their use of aluminium from 327 pounds in 2009 to 550 pounds in 2025. For 2012 model cars, the use of aluminium has reached an all-time high of 343 pounds per vehicle, a 5% increase.
According to OEMs surveyed in the study, aluminium use as a percent of the overall automotive materials mix is expected to double by 2025 to 16%.
An economic development incentive package from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) helped secure the selection of Davenport for the expansion. The incentive package includes tax, financing and R&D credits as well as training grants for the Davenport workforce and new employees.
Alcoa Davenport Works, which earlier this year hosted President Obama, produces aluminium sheet and plate for a variety of industries. Materials produced at the plant are used in aerospace and defense, passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks), commercial truck and rail transportation and the industrial market.