Photo of 2015 F-150 courtesy of Ford.

Photo of 2015 F-150 courtesy of Ford.

Aluminum producer Alcoa has made strides toward obtaining a $275 million federal loan to expand production to meet demand for Ford's 2015 aluminum F-150 pickup truck.

After applying earlier this year to the U.S. Department of Energy for a share of the remaing $16 billion in the U.S. Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing fund, Alcoa completed an environmental review required to expand its Tennessee plant.

The expansion would create 500 construction jobs and 200 full-time jobs, as well as enabling Alcoa to produce 640 million pounds per year of aluminum for the trucks.

Earlier this month, Alcoa filed an environmental permit requesting exemption for a full-blown federal environmental review known as an Environmental Impact Statement.

Alcoa hopes to tap into the long-dormant ATVM fund, which was set up in 2008 and funded with a $25 billion congressional appropriation. To date, the loan program has provided $8 billion in loans, including $5.9 billion to Ford to upgrade 13 factories in six states, $1.4 billion to Nissan to retool a plant and construct a battery manufacturing facility for the Nissan LEAF, and $465 million to Tesla Motors for production of battery-electric vehicles.

By Paul Clinton

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet