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Bharat Forge Tied to New Aluminum Automotive Project

A proposed, $127.3-million forging and machining development in North Carolina would be the group’s largest investment in North America

Bharat Forge America Inc. is involved in a proposed, $127.3-million aluminum auto parts forging and machining operation in Sanford, NC, contingent upon local government incentives, according to an announcement by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, a public-private business recruitment agency.

No project timeline or start-up date has been revealed.

Bharat Forge has not commented directly on the project. However, reports from India, where parent Bharat Forge Ltd. is based, estimate the group’s investment at $56 million.

“We are delighted to make our biggest overseas investment in North America, in the state of North Carolina, which offers excellent advantages and a strong talent pool,” said Amit Kalyani, deputy managing director of Bharat Forge Ltd., in the EDPNC announcement. “Importantly, this also brings us closer to our customers in North America. This investment will help us create a strong global manufacturing footprint as part of our aluminum strategy, spanning Europe, Asia, and the United States.”

The types of parts to be produced and finished are not indicated by the EDPNC announcement. It’s stated that the Bharat Forge plant would be part of a larger manufacturing center that would employ as many as 460 people.

So far, the project has direct financial support from the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Investment Committee in the form of a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) that authorizes up to $3.54 million reimbursement to Bharat Forge over 12 years, based on "the positive economic growth that the new forging plant is expected to provide the state."

“Global industrial manufacturer Bharat Forge is making its largest overseas investment in Sanford because our quality workers along with our other resources will help drive demand for their products,” stated Governor Roy Cooper.

EDPNC estimated that the project will add $787.1 million to North Carolina’s economy over that period.

The announcement also lists numerous partners in helping to persuade the forger to develop its project there, including the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, North Carolina State University, Duke Energy, the GoldenLEAF Foundation, Lee County, the City of Sanford, and the Sanford Area Growth Alliance.

Bharat Forge operates Bharat Forge PMT Technologies LLC, a closed-die forging operation for carbon and high-alloy steel parts for automotive engine and chassis manufacturing, in Surgoinsville, TN. The former Walker Forge Tennessee and PMT Industries LLC operation was purchased in late 2016.

Last year Bharat Forge was reported to be developing a $55-million aluminum automotive forging operation in Tennessee, though apart from comments attributed then to chairman and managing director B.N. Kalyani the group has made no comment on that project.

Bharat Forge is a business unit of the Kalyani Group conglomerate, based in Pune, India.

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