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Governor Mitch Daniels joined executives from Fronius USA LLC, the fourth-largest solar inverter producer in the world, recently to announce that the company will relocate its North American headquarters here from Michigan, creating up to 512 new jobs by 2016.
The Austrian company will invest more than $26.64 million to lease and equip 400,000 square-feet of space in Portage to assemble and manufacture its products for the North American market. Through this new facility, Fronius plans to develop its current manufacturing capacities to meet the global demand for solar electronic inverters and welding technology.
"We're excited to bring new jobs anywhere in Indiana, but we're particularly excited Fronius has chosen northwest Indiana," said Daniels. "Fronius is well-established, fast-growing and at the top of their field, exactly the kind of company we've rebuilt the Indiana business climate to attract."
Fronius' relocation marks the 1,000th new business establishment or expansion the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the state's lead economic development agency, has completed since its inception in 2005.
Established in Brighton, Mich. in 2002, the family-owned, international company has been engaged in solar electronics since 1992, in particular the development and production of photovoltaic inverters for both grid-connected and independent power supplies.
"Indiana has a great business climate with a perfect infrastructure for us, including a good network of suppliers and skilled employees," said Wolfgang Niedrist, managing director for U.S. sales at Fronius. "We can't wait to get to know the people of Indiana even better as we move into the community."
Fronius, which currently employs more than 4,200 employees globally, has already started hiring human resource and finance associates for its Portage headquarters. It plans to expand its procurement and production workforce to coincide with the completion of facility improvements next summer.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Fronius USA, LLC up to $4.25 million in performance-based tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. The city of Portage will consider additional property tax abatement at the request of the Portage Redevelopment Commission and the Portage Economic Development Corporation.
"We have worked closely with IEDC and the company representatives for many months through the recruitment process. It has been this partnership and open communication that has proven successful in having Fronius choose to locate in the city of Portage," said Portage Mayor Olga Velazquez. "We are extremely pleased to share the good news with our residents. Fronius will bring an entirely new high tech industry to Portage and northwestern Indiana. The skilled jobs created will keep our young people near home."
About Fronius USA, LLC
Fronius USA, LLC is a world technology leader in the fields of battery charging systems, welding technology and solar electronics. Founded in 1945, Fronius has production sites in Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic and Ukraine, plus 13 sales subsidiaries all over the world. This Austrian company owns 737 active patents and generated a total turnover of 499 million Euros in financial year 2010. For more information, visit www.fronius.com.
Created by Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Daniels. Mitch Roob serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.