Jobs are headed back to the shuttered Texarkana, Texas Alcoa plant.

Lightweight metals leader Alcoa announced today that it is restarting its Texarkana casthouse plant to meet demand for aluminum slab for the automotive industry. The aluminum slab that will be cast at Texarkana will be turned into aluminum sheet at Alcoa’s recently expanded automotive facility in Davenport, Iowa and its rolling mill in Lancaster, Penn.

Alcoa media spokesperson Lori Lecker says, the plant "will be considering all qualified applicants, including those with previous molten metal experience."  Engineering for the project is already under way and work is expected to begin this month. The project is expected to ramp up production in the first half of 2016 and will create approximately 80 full-time positions by 2016.

“Automakers who are increasingly using aluminum in their cars and trucks are the big drivers behind today’s announcement,” said Mark Vrablec, President Alcoa Aerospace Transportation & Industrial Products (ATI). By restarting the Texarkana casthouse, we are creating a new, cost-effective source of aluminum slab for our business, and that metal will be transformed by our rolling mills into value-add products for our customers.”

The $6 million investment will restart two casting pits in the Texarkana casthouse, which has been idled since 2009 and is part of Alcoa’s Global Rolled Products business. The majority of the plant’s production volume will support Alcoa’s automotive business with some additional supply supporting the industrial markets.

“We appreciate the support of the cities of Texarkana and Nash and Bowie County for this project and look forward to continuing our community partnership,” Vrablec said.