GE Appliances, a Haier company, has invested $115m in expanding the refrigerator plant at Decatur in Alabama, US.
The investment will create 255 new jobs at the plant, which will increase the total number of full-time employees to 1,300.
The company has made the investment in partnership with the State of Alabama, the Morgan County Economic Development Association and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The investment is expected to help GE Appliances increase production to meet the demand for its top-freezer refrigerators and also achieve its goal of becoming the leading major appliances business in the US.
Haier had acquired GE Appliances two years ago and the $115m investment is the major funding made after the acquisition.
Major investments by GE Appliances in 2018 included a $55m expansion of a distribution centre in Northern Georgia, which was announced on June 14; the opening of a $45m expansion and enhancement of a smart distribution centre in Dallas, Texas, on June 19; and a $10m expansion of the plant in Selmer, Tennessee, in May.
The investment in Decatur plant is expected to boost production capacity by 25%, making it a ‘refrigerator super site’ for GE Appliances.
The investment will also be used to acquire new 3D scanning technology and ‘smart’ automation and sensor technology that will provide real-time data visualisation tools to the operations team to make better and faster production decisions.
The tools will enable the Decatur plant to add future product innovations.
The Decatur plant, the largest employer in Morgan County, is expected to increase its economic impact by an additional $2.2bn over the next five years. GE Appliances currently transacts business worth nearly $95m with suppliers across Alabama.
GE Appliances president and CEO Kevin Nolan said: “Our $115m investment in Decatur is a critical part of our plan to be the leading appliances business in the United States.
“We are already a huge part of the local Decatur community, and look forward to a continued partnership with Decatur and the entire State of Alabama for many years to come.”
Image: Located on the Tennessee River in Decatur, Alabama, GE Appliances’ Decatur Production Operation announced a $115m investment that will create 255 new jobs to make more top-freezer refrigerators at the plant. Photo: courtesy of GE Appliances.