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Russian Company Bankrolling Troubled Kentucky Aluminum Plant Suspends Investments

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The long-delayed aluminum plant project near Ashland, Kentucky is facing another setback.

According to a Bloomberg report, Rusal, the formerly blacklisted Russian company with a major stake in the 10-figure project, is suspending its investments while it awaits word that its U.S. partners have raised the necessary funds. So far the company has sunk at least $65 million in the proposed mill, to be built by Unity Aluminum, previously known as Braidy Industries.

The news is only the latest twist for the troubled project, which has been plagued by fundraising questions and the ouster of the CEO formerly overseeing the venture. Rusal's involvement has been controversial from the start, after it was revealed that the company had been subject to sanctions.

Kentucky pledged $15 million in taxpayer dollars toward the project under former Gov. Matt Bevin, but current Gov. Andy Beshear has repeatedly vowed to get the money back if the mill project doesn't materialize.

Backers have touted the plant, which was slated for completion last year, as one that could create up to 550 jobs.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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