German-owned steel processor Bilstein Group has broken ground on a $17.8 million expansion at its Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel LP campus in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Bilstein will construct a new 8,500-square-foot facility in Kentucky Transpark, in addition to its existing 105,000-square-foot operation, to better serve the North American market. The investment will also purchase new equipment, including batch annealing furnaces, and upgrade existing equipment to increase production capacity of its cold-rolled steel strips.
In addition, Bilstein’s employment is expected to increase to 120 full-time jobs. The existing facility, opened in 2017, currently employs 86 workers. The expansion is expected to be operational by the second half of 2022.
“This will be the foundation to continue on our current growth path and add more highly qualified jobs to the region,” said Brent Wilson, CEO of Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel LP. “Our plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is Bilstein’s first footprint on the North American continent. Looking at the increasing demand in our superior quality products, serving high-precision applications in key industry segments including electrical vehicle systems, we are very positive that our growth story does not stop here.”
To encourage the investment, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, in April, approved Bilstein for up to $200,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, Bilstein can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives through the Kentucky Skills Network.
Bilstein Group, founded in 1911 in Hagen, Germany, produces highly specialized steel products for the automotive sector and other industries, including tools and light weight construction industries. The company has produced cold-rolled steel for the North American market for more than 25 years and processes 62,000 different products supplied to 170 countries.