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Manufacturer holds open house at Senatobia plant

pic2By JACK WEATHERLY

ABB held an open house on Friday to show off its Senatobia operations that have been going on for about a month.

The Swiss-Swedish manufacturer of power and automation equipment expects to have about 100 workers by year’s end and aims for 300 at the end of five years.

The Senatobia facility takes the place of an ABB facility in Italy.

“We will be manufacturing products here specifically for the U.S. market,” ABB official Giampiero Frisio said in a news release. Among its products will be circuit breakers.

The fact that the plant is only about 30 miles from the FedEx terminal in Memphis was a major reason for locating in Tate County, company spokesman Harry Hurst said in a telephone interview.

Another is the fact that an ABB distribution center is in Byhalia, Hurst said.

The company projects having 200 employees by the end of 2018 and 300 by the end of 2022, Hurst said.

Hurst declined to reveal the pay range but said that compensation is “very, very competitive.”

The opening of the plant “is a historic economic development milestone for Senatobia and Tate County as this great company [brings] hundreds of new career opportunities to the people of north Mississippi,” MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough Jr. said in the release.

ABB operates in about 100 countries and employs approximately 140,000. Its North American operations, headquartered in Cary, N.C., employ about 20,000.

The fact that the 85,000-square-foot plant is already producing marketable products is far beyond the original and only previous tenant in the Senatobia plant, Twin Creek Technologies.

Twin Creek closed its operation in 2012 after failing to produce marketable solar panels or reach, significant employment, and leaving the state of Mississippi $27.7 million in the hole.

Senatobia Mayor Alan Callicott was unavailable Friday afternoon to address where the city stands on paying back $18 million it borrowed for the building of the plant.

The MDA provided ABB with $3.5 million for infrastructure and training. The city and county granted the company 10-year property tax breaks.

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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