Mersen USA to invest $5.7 million to expand operation in Bristol

economic-forecast-headerGovernor Terry McAuliffe announced this week that Mersen USA, a subsidiary of Mersen SA, a global expert in electrical specialties and graphite-based materials headquartered in France, will invest $5.7 million to expand its operation in the City of Salem, creating 50 new jobs. The facility designs and manufactures graphite and silicon carbide heat for highly corrosive and high-temperature fluids and skid systems, encompassing entire process systems in a single unit. Customers include chemical companies, pharmaceutical companies, and other severe process industries. With this project, Mersen USA will expand its skid systems capacity, as well as relocate the company’s reactive metal equipment manufacturing business from California to Salem.

Speaking about the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Creating good jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector is a central part of growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy. This announcement is significant for a locality that is aggressively trying to rebound economically and for Mersen USA as they continue to benefit from our Commonwealth’s world class workforce and business environment. The facility employs approximately 80 people working to optimize manufacturing processes in a variety of key industries, which is essential to the future of advanced manufacturing. We are thrilled to see the Salem operation grow and absorb the company’s relocated metal manufacturing business as part of this expansion.”

“Mersen USA’s decision to expand and relocate a business division to its Virginia operation speaks volumes about the company’s experience in our world-class business environment,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Mersen is an important employer in the City of Salem, and this great project confirms the company’s long-term commitment to the region.”

Mersen USA designs innovative solutions to enable clients to optimize manufacturing processes in sectors such as energy, transportation, electronics, chemical, pharmaceutical, and process industries. Mersen USA has manufacturing facilities in 35 countries, employs over 6,000, and reports 2013 sales of Euro 739 million. Established in 1940, Mersen USA has nine production sites in seven states.

“Mersen USA chose Salem for this expansion of our systems and relocation of our U.S. reactive metals equipment fabrication businesses because the City of Salem has always provided a business friendly environment and the community provides skilled and dedicated employees,” said Shawn Malone, President, Mersen USA, Chemical Equipment Div. “We have been operating in Salem since 1986 without regret, and are especially proud of recently achieving 2,000 days without a lost time accident and expect to pass our previous record of 3,000 days as we expand and grow. Mersen has not achieved this sort of safety record anywhere else in the world and it speaks volumes in regards to the Salem operation and especially its people.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Salem and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $140,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Salem with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“The City of Salem is elated that Mersen USA has chosen to expand its operation in Salem and will be adding 50 new jobs,” said City Manager Kevin Boggess. “Mersen is one of those companies tucked away on the fringes of our city that goes about its daily business turning out million dollar equipment with very few people knowing what they actually do. The $140,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity fund is of utmost importance because without it, the City would not be able to meet the Company’s needs alone. With Salem’s unemployment rate at 5.8%, this project represents a wonderful boost to our economy, and we certainly do welcome the jobs it will create.”

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