A new diesel engine factory in Aiken County is one step closer to opening.
The state’s top budget oversight board approved three new tax-free bonds Monday for MTU Detroit Diesel to complete a new $45 million facility that the company says will bring 250 new jobs to the area. The bonds are part of federal stimulus money meant to encourage economic development.
Fred Humes of the Economic Development Partnership worked to bring the manufacturer to the area. He says the bonds were critical for the company to relocate.
Financing is difficult in any situation for companies nowadays. These particular bonds will provide a low-interest bond and will allow for potential expansion in the future.
The Budget & Control Board’s approval of $65 million in bonds are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. South Carolina was originally given $100 million to distribute among its counties, but had some funds left over.
MTU Detroit builds engines for off-road vehicles. Some of its products are used in large ships, naval vessels, and even armored tanks.
The company is relocating its production facility from Michigan. It’s parent company is the Tognum Group, based in Germany.
Humes said MTU officials liked the area.
They felt that they could be very comfortable in bringing their families and raising families here, and being able to recruit engineers and technical people that may want to come and… join with them in their operation here.
He said the companywould hire about 230 workers locally for the new factory, while 20 would move with the relocation.
The new plant will be built in an existing 300,000 square foot facility near the town of Graniteville. Humes said the opening is big for the area.
We’ve had several companies that have made investments here. None have been the size of this particular company.
Humes said the Graniteville opening is good news for the area’s workforce, as manufacturing jobs were disproportionately affected by a bad economy.
It fits in with the type of companies that we are very interested in having here. We’re very, very pleased with it and we see great potential.
The Budget and Control Board will allow MTU Detroit to sell up to $65 million in tax-free bonds to pay for tools and equipment. The additional $20 million was granted in case the company expanded on the current site.