Mitsubishi Electric awarded incentives for Memphis plant

MEMPHIS — Mitsubishi Electric will receive more than $34 million in tax incentives for building a $200-million high-voltage power transformer factory that is expected to create 281 jobs in Memphis, documents show.

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products announced plans Monday to build the plant on 140 acres at an industrial park near the Mississippi River. The plant, which is expected to open in 2013, represents the largest investment for Mitsubishi Electric in the United States.

The 281 new jobs will have an expected average wage of $49,790. The total economic impact is projected at $639 million, according to a report released yesterday by the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Economic Development.

The $34.3-million tax incentive will extend over 15 years, and the anticipated tax benefit is about $27.6 million.

Mitsubishi Electric filed an application with the economic development office seeking a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, program from the city and surrounding Shelby County. In its application, the company said it wanted to build a plant in the U.S. because its large power transformer factory in Ako, Japan, is nearing capacity.

The large transformers will help update aging power systems and make them more reliable, officials said Monday.

Memphis is attractive to large companies because of its role as a major U.S. transportation hub with access to the nation’s busiest cargo airport. A railroad extension that will access a nearby intermodal facility is included in the plan.

Brian Heery, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc., said Monday the tax incentives and Memphis’ ability to serve the plant’s logistical needs were reasons the Warrendale, Pa.-based company chose the city.

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

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