Chart Industries’ $23M Expansion to Add 80 MN Jobs
A Garfield Heights, Ohio-based manufacturer broke ground Monday on a $23 million expansion project that is expected to bring 80 new jobs to New Prague, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced.
Chart Industries, Inc.—a manufacturer of equipment for the production, storage, and end use of hydrocarbon and industrial gases—has operated in New Prague since 1963 and is the city’s largest employer, according to DEED. New Prague is located about 45 miles southwest of the Twin Cities.
The company plans to add a 111,525-square-foot manufacturing facility on a 24.5-acre site adjacent to its existing facility. It received a $500,000 loan from DEED that will be forgiven if the company meets a goal of adding 80 jobs within two years. Sixty of the new jobs are expected to be welding positions; the remaining 20 will be supervisory, engineering, and management positions, DEED said.
Chart Industries has increased employment in New Prague from 338 workers to 468 workers during the past 18 months, and the 80 new workers would boost its New Prague employment to 548, DEED said.
Chart Industries has also added jobs elsewhere in Minnesota: DEED said in December 2011 that the company would open a plant in Owatonna, a move that was expected create at least 100 jobs in the southern Minnesota city.
In addition to the forgivable loan, DEED said that it will provide $725,000 in grants to support the New Prague expansion.
DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a statement that South Dakota, Texas, and “many other states” were competing to attract the expansion project.
“Chart Industries has been an important business partner in New Prague for nearly 50 years, and it was crucial to keep those new jobs in the city and state,” he said.
Chart Industries is expanding in response to increased global demand for energy, rising oil prices, and a growing North American natural gas market. Specifically, the company will expand its production of cryogenic equipment that is used for transporting and storing natural gas as a refrigerated liquid.
DEED said that Greater MSP, a Twin Cities regional economic development organization, “played a key role in helping Chart Industries expand its manufacturing presence in New Prague.”