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Nearly a billion dollar announced for economic development in Kentucky

Governor Andy Beshear with northeastern Kentucky Judge Executives announce the economic development funding
Gov. Andy Beshear Youtube
Governor Andy Beshear with northeastern Kentucky Judge Executives announce the economic development funding

Kentucky is set is receive around $961 million dollars for new economic development. Officials say the development is being driven by federal funding and companies investing in the commonwealth.

One of those is Century Aluminum. The company plans to potentially build the first new U.S. primary aluminum smelter in 45 years in Northeastern Kentucky.

During a press conference Monday, Governor Beshear said this facility would be huge for eastern Kentucky.

“The smelter would be the largest investment on record in eastern Kentucky, we believe. It would bring 5,500 construction jobs and a thousand permanent union jobs with strong wages.”

The governor said the project is supported by an up to $500 million dollar grant from the Department of Energy.

“The project is supported by an up for $500 million grant from the Department of Energy through their industrial demonstrations program, a program that's funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Other development plans announced include Wieland North America Recycling's expansion and Diageo Americas Supply Inc's new project in Shelbyville. ISP Chemicals LLC, an Ashland Co., is engaging in conversations to build a chemical production electrification and heat storage project at their Calvert City chemical plant.

Last week, officials announced the Lewis Ridge pumped storage project has been approved for an up-to-$81 million dollar federal grant to help construct a first-of-its-kind $1-point-3 billion dollar coal-to-pumped storage hydro-power facility in Bell County in southeastern Kentucky. 

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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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