Alcoa Asks for $275 Million Federal Loan for Ford F-150 Aluminum Production

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Aluminum producer Alcoa has made strides toward obtaining a $275 million federal loan to expand production to meet demand for Ford’s 2015 aluminum F-150 pickup truck, trade publication Automotive Fleet reported Friday.

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After applying earlier this year to the US Department of Energy for a share of the remaining $16 billion in the U.S. Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing fund, Alcoa completed an environmental review required to expand its Tennessee plant. The expansion would create 500 construction jobs and 200 full-time jobs, as well as enabling Alcoa to produce 640 million pounds per year of aluminum for the trucks.

Earlier this month, Alcoa filed an environmental permit requesting exemption for a full-blown federal environmental review known as an Environmental Impact Statement. Alcoa hopes to tap into the long-dormant ATVM fund, which was set up in 2008 and funded with a $25 billion congressional appropriation.

The aluminum 3-month price saw a 1.2 percent drop on the LME on Friday, May 30, landing at $1,820 per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day. On the LME, the cash price of primary aluminum declined 0.9 percent to $1,784 per metric ton. Following a couple days of improvement, the Indian aluminum cash price weakened by 0.6 percent. Prices closed at INR 108.65 ($1.84) per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum prices were mixed for the day. The Chinese aluminum cash price inched up 0.2 percent to CNY 13,300 ($2,132) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese aluminum scrap held flat at CNY 12,250 ($1,964) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum billet remained essentially flat at CNY 13,590 ($2,179) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady at CNY 14,200 ($2,276) per metric ton.

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