• 54°

Hitachi expansion smaller than planned

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
CHINA GROVE ó The new Hitachi Metals operation in Rowan County will be smaller than planned because expected partnerships fell through, according to a company official.
Hitachi Metals North Carolina announced in late December that it will add 65 full-time jobs and invest about $60 million over the next four years at a ferrite magnet manufacturing plant in China Grove.
But the company had told Rowan County Commissioners that the project would create 148 jobs and $71.6 million in investment.
Pat Barton, president of Hitachi Metals North Carolina, said in July that the company planned to enter a new joint venture that mines rare earth materials. Its China Grove facility would process them into alloys, which it would then use to make powerful rare earth magnets.
Those plans have changed, Barton said Thursday, because the company could not come to an agreement with potential partners.
ěThat joint venture didnít come to complete fruition, so we will not be doing one phase of that operation in our factory here,î Barton said. ěWe will be producing final product ó rare earth magnets ó we just wonít be doing the first part, which is production of the alloy.î
Barton said a supplier has agreed to provide raw materials for the plant, located on Hitachi Metals Drive of N.C. 152.
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $43,108 not including benefits. The countyís average annual wage is $36,036.
ěI just think itís great that Hitachi Metals in Japan has decided to continue on with this project,î Barton said. ěIt shows confidence in the local people to do the job in this high-tech business.î
Based in Tokyo, Japan, Hitachi Metals is a multinational corporation that specializes in high technology, machinery and public infrastructure.
Since 1990, the companyís North Carolina subsidiary has operated a plant in Rowan County that produces arc-segment magnets for use in motors.
Soon, it also will manufacture neodymium magnets engineered primarily for use in hybrid and electric vehicles. Barton said the magnets also can be used for wind power generation and many other applications.
Hitachi already produces these Neomax magnets in Japan and China, he said, but it is expanding production to more easily supply American automakers. Though not the first, China Grove will be the only location in the United States where this type of magnet is made.
Rowan Countyís incentive agreement says Hitachi North Carolina will get 75 percent of the tax revenue generated by the project, calculated each year for five years starting in 2013.
But the county offered the grant based on Hitachiís original proposal, and its incentives are performance-based.
Robert Van Geons, director of RowanWorks Economic Development, said recently that the grant amount paid will be reduced according to the drop in jobs and investment numbers.
Hitachi actually is spending $18 million more than planned for the remaining part of the operation, Barton said Thursday. The total for the project is still less, because equipment for raw material production wonít be included.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
Twitter: twitter.com/postcopolitics
Facebook: facebook.com/ Karissa.SalisburyPost

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts

Business

Groundbreaking on Pennant Square signals next phase in downtown Kannapolis revitalization

Nation/World

J&J vaccine to remain in limbo while officials seek evidence

Nation/World

Prosecutors: No charges for officer in Capitol riot shooting

Nation/World

Biden to pull US troops from Afghanistan, end ‘forever war’

Nation/World

Former Minnesota cop charged in shooting of Black motorist

Crime

Blotter: April 14

Elections

Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

Crime

Salisbury woman arrested in Myrtle Beach for abducting child

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

High School

High school tennis: East beats Carson, still hopes to share NPC title

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant