Daikin America Inc., marking its 25th year of operation in Alabama, plans to invest up to $195 million to add new capabilities at its Decatur production facility. The expansion will result in the addition of 50 new full-time positions over the next few years.
Daikin said the expansion project will add polymer production capability, associated monomer production, utility systems, infrastructure enhancements and R&D capabilities in Decatur. Construction will begin in January.
David Hendrixson, a Daikin America executive vice president and plant manager, said the Decatur facility was chosen over Daikin production locations in Japan and China for the polymer expansion project.
“This investment shows Daikin’s confidence in the Decatur community and its people. We appreciate the support of the State of Alabama, local officials and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Daikin is proud to be a part of the Decatur and Morgan County community.”
The official announcement was made at a community celebration to commemorate Daikin’s 25th anniversary in the Morgan County city.
“As one of the first Japanese companies to establish a presence in Alabama, Daikin blazed a trail for many other companies from Japan that have followed its path to find success our state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“Through repeated reinvestment in its Decatur operation, Daikin has shown corporate decision makers In Japan and around the world the attractiveness of doing business in Alabama,” he added. “That kind of endorsement helps us open doors in business recruitment.”
Among other things, the expansion project will increase Daikin’s PTFE (a synthetic polymer with useful properties) and melt resin polymer production capacity. With this expansion, Daikin will introduce differentiated polymers used in high-value applications.
The capacity addition will permit the company to more effectively serve customers worldwide.
Local officials welcomed the news of Daikin’s latest expansion project.
“I want to formally thank Daikin officials for their decision to move forward with this major expansion, as it ensures Daikin’s presence in our community for many years to come,” Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said.
Daikin is one of Decatur’s largest industrial employers, with around 400 workers, according to data from the Morgan County Economic Development Association.
“Daikin continues to make a positive impact on our community by not only expanding their facility and creating new well-paying jobs, but truly being a great community partner throughout their 25-year history,” Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling said.
Daikin America is a subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Daikin Industries Ltd., one of the largest fluorochemical suppliers in the world. Daikin has been a world leader in the development, manufacture and sales of fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, surface modification technology and refrigerant gases since 1924.
Daikin products are used in countless applications and products.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.