Big Story 10

Arconic drops request for $259 million U.S. energy fund loan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Arconic Inc said on Friday it had dropped its request for a $259 million loan from the U.S. Energy Department, a day after the Trump administration proposed killing the program aimed at boosting manufacturing of advanced technology vehicles.

In 2015 the Obama administration announced a “conditional commitment” to loan Alcoa Corp the $259 million to expand production of lightweight materials for vehicles at its plant in Alcoa, Tennessee.

The loan was to be made under the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program.

Arconic, which builds aerospace and automotive parts, split from Alcoa last year.

“After thorough review, we decided not to proceed with the ATVM loan as it no longer fit the needs of the company,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, the Trump administration proposed ending the loan program, which was first funded by Congress in 2008 and used to help provide critical liquidity to automakers hurt by the financial crisis and other companies.

Tesla Inc, Nissan Motor Co and Ford Motor Co were among the companies that received funding during the downturn. The program also backed startup automaker Fisker Automotive Inc and Michigan-based Vehicle Program Group, both of which were shut down with a loss of $181 million to taxpayers.

The program has not funded a new project in six years. Ending it could free up $4.2 billion in unused subsidies.

Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Nick Carey in Detroit; Editing by Paul Simao