Gov. Beshear Breaks Ground With Kobe Aluminum to Expand in Bowling Green, Create 100 Jobs

Gov. Beshear Breaks Ground With Kobe Aluminum to Expand in Bowling Green,
Create 100 Jobs

Japanese-Owned Automotive Supplier to Invest $66 Million more in the
Commonwealth

Bowling Green, KY, May 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kentucky Governor Steve
Beshear today joined company and local officials to break ground on an 87,000
square foot addition to Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (KAAP), LLC advanced
manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, representing $66 million of new
capital investment and the addition of 100 new full-time employees.

At today's groundbreaking ceremony at KAAP's facilities in the South Central
Kentucky Industrial Park, Gov. Beshear noted, "Today's groundbreaking marks
Kobe's second major expansion in as many years tells me the global economic
recovery has deep roots in Bowling Green. Kentucky once again leads the way
in advanced manufacturing industry and high-skill job creation."

The 87,000 square-foot addition makes room for new furnaces and casting
machines, forging presses and advanced processes used to meet increasing
demand for high-quality precision aluminum components, to be delivered to the
automobile industry as it expands in the Commonwealth; such as fully-forged
aluminum suspension systems for fuel-efficient, low-emission cars.

"Kobe Steel had many options when we decided to establish this business in
Bowling Green. We have had great experiences working in Kentucky, and we have
never regretted our decision. The state of Kentucky made the decision for
additional investment easy by offeringfinancial incentives. I assure you, we
do not take these incentives for granted and will do our best to fulfill our
employment obligations to make this incentive program both a business success
for KAAP and an economic success for Kentucky," said Susumu (Sam) Koike,
President/CEO.

"We are excited to break ground and expand our operations in South Central
Kentucky once again," said, Gregory Head, Corporate Secretary. "KAAP has
grown and prospered here because Kentucky understands our needs and respects
our customers. We look forward to many more years of collaboration with state
and local officials and providing new opportunities for the exceptional people
we are fortunate to employ. Our desire is to become a preferred employer in
the South Central Kentucky."

The Honorable Motohiko Kato, Consul-General of Japan, Nashville, Tenn.,
remarked, "I congratulate Kobe on this significant event for our two
countries, and look forward to visiting Bowling Green and Kentucky more
frequently as the economic ties between the United States and Japan grow
stronger than ever."

"Kobe has been a great corporate citizen for the past eight years, and we look
forward to continuing this relationship long into the future," said Bowling
Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. "We congratulate them on their decision to expand
here again and send well wishes for their continued growth."

"It's another great day in south central Kentucky when we can announce an
expansion project like this one at Kobe," said Warren County Judge-Executive
Michael Buchanon. "This company is a great example of how businesses thrive in
our region, and we thank them for continuing to invest here."

Chamber Board of Directors Chair Brad Howard commented, "We thank our local
and state officials for their full support of Kobe and this project. Governor
Beshear, our state legislators, the City and County, and the Kentucky Cabinet
for Economic Development played integral roles to ensure that this project
will be a success and a benefit to the region."

"TVA congratulates Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products on the great news of
their business expansion," said TVA Senior Vice President of Economic
Development John Bradley. "TVA and Warren Rural Electric Cooperative
Corporation are pleased to partner with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce to support companies like Kobe to
continue to grow in their home communities."

KAAP, Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, LLC, a joint venture of Kobe Steel
Ltd., Mitsui & Co Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation, has been a resident of
South Central Kentucky since 2005. KAAP has been named "Industry of the Year"
in 2008 and "Business of the Year" in 2012. There are 11 Kobe Steel
subsidiaries in the United States, but the Bowling Green location is Kobe
Steel's only U.S. facility to forge for the automotive industry.

To encourage the investment and job growth in Bowling Green, the Kentucky
Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the
company for tax incentives up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise
Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and
use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research
and development and electronic processing equipment.

Additional incentives are pending KEDFA approval through Kentucky Business
Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a
portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate
income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

At the time of application for expansion incentives KAAP gainfully employed
220 full-time employees and plans to expand to a minimum of 320 by mid-2016 as
a result of today's expansion. As of the day of Ground Breaking, May 15,
2013, KAAP had increased its headcount to 270 as a response to increased
market demand.

Once the new facilities are completed, equipped, and hiring is completed,
today's expansion will generate an economic multiplier impact of $154
million. The project will result in more than $7 million of additional local
tax revenues and an additional $34 million in household spending.

Kobe's is the third economic development announcement for the Chamber thus far
in 2013, with a total announced investment of nearly $92 million and 192
announced new jobs. In 2012, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce announced
projects totaling 537 jobs created or retained by its efforts, resulting in
over $45.6 million in capital investment.

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About Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC:

For more information on Kobe Aluminum, visit www.kobeal.com

About Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and Gov. Beshear:

Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is
available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic
Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at
www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at
www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky. A detailed community profile for Bowling Green
(Warren County) can be viewed at
http://www.thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=067

Follow Governor Beshear on Twitter @Govstevebeshear, read the Governor's
personal notes on his blog at http://governor.ky.gov/blog and view his video
commentaries at http://www.youtube.com/governorbeshear

About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:

Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star
Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009
Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the
fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business
advocate for its more than 1,100 partners and is the driving force for
economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to
promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small
business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership
programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and
involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its
neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the
region.

CONTACT: Contact: Nick Fuhrman, Communications & Public Policy Director
         270-781-3200; nick@bgchamber.com
        

Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce logo
 
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