Rotary Haney

Braidy Industries senior vice president of government relations Nate Haney speaks at Rotary.

ASHLAND Braidy Industries is close to making a major announcement regarding its funding goal, a top Braidy executive said Monday.

“I think we are going to be making an announcement in the next 30 to 60 days,” senior vice president of government relations Nate Haney said at the weekly Ashland Rotary meeting.

Haney made the statement in the context of outlining funding raised so far and investment still needed before Braidy can start building its planned $1.7 billion aluminum mill at EastPark.

In the short term, the company needs $300 million in order to lock in a $200 million investment by the Russian aluminum manufacturer United Company Rusal.

Braidy has potential investors commanding more than $1 billion in capital interested — but not committed — to the venture, according to Haney in a brief interview following the meeting.

Haney declined to provide any more specific information but said the projected announcement would likely pertain to the funding goal.

Braidy is seeking “strategic investors,” those whose own business pursuits are complemented by those of the company, he said.

The 40-acre mill is to be built at a site adjacent to Ashland Community and Technical College’s EastPark campus.

Haney outlined the history of the company’s Northeast Kentucky plans, from a rocky start when its first proposed site was nixed because of geological issues, to the acquisition of associated companies Veloxint and NanoAl.

Braidy originally planned to open in 2020; that goal has been rolled back to 2021.

“We realize it’s been two years . . . just because you don’t see something in the newspaper every  week, we’re still hustling,” he said.

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Mike James is The Independent's education reporter. He has covered news in Northeast Kentucky since 1996.