Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems, Inc. (MNES) will establish a new engineering center in Charlotte, NC, to expand the company's business in the U.S market of building new nuclear power plants and supplying replacement components for existing nuclear power plants.
The company expects to hire 135 engineers at an average annual salary of $102,454, not including benefits, over the next five years. Mitsubishi expects to make a capital investment of $4.1 million while leasing 40,000 square feet of office space in Ballantyne Corporate Park.
"Establishing our engineering center in North Carolina is a further expansion of our U.S. operations to meet the growing needs of our U.S. utility customers for safe and efficient nuclear power plant technology," said Kiyoshi Yamauchi, President and Chief Executive Officer of MNES. "The engineering work done there will help U.S. utilities meet global energy requirements with our US-APWR technology."
To help facilitate this expansion, the state Economic Investment Committee today voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to MNES. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant.
Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 60 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the nine years in which the company meets annual performance targets. If MNES meets the targets called for under the agreement, the JDIG could yield $2.8 million in maximum benefits for the company.
In addition, up to $961,000 could be added to the state's Industrial Development Fund for infrastructure improvements in economically distressed counties. When a JDIG is awarded in the state's more economically prosperous counties such as Mecklenburg, 25 percent of the grant award is allocated to the Industrial Development Fund to encourage economic development in less prosperous counties.
North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue hailed the announcement as an investment in the state's economy. "Mitsubishi is a growing and future-oriented company, exactly the kind of business that North Carolina is attracting through our investment in education and infrastructure," Gov. Perdue said. "Our job-ready workforce and position as an energy capital truly means that international companies like Mitsubishi will bring to our state the kind of jobs that are helping us climb out of the recession."
According to a company spokesman, Charlotte was selected because it is a good business and living environment; provides local support for nuclear energy; provides a good talent pool because many nuclear organizations are concentrated in the area as well as many prestigious education institutions; and the state provided the Job Development Investment Grant.