• Headquarters: Charlotte, N.C.
• Services: Supports the nuclear, fossil and renewable power markets
• Employees: 12,000, in addition to 10,400 joint venture employees
• Chattanooga workforce: 175 after expansion
• New local investment: $4.85 million
Source: Babcock & Wilcox Intech Inc.
A company supporting the nuclear power industry is shifting into a new $4.85 million facility in Chattanooga and doubling its full-time work force in the city with the addition of 50 jobs, officials said Tuesday.
Babcock & Wilcox Intech Inc. will consolidate its three Chattanooga locations and expand operations into the new 30,000-square-foot Centre South Riverport site.
Aimie Mills, a spokesperson for Charlotte, N.C.-based B&W, said plans are to be in the new facility off Amnicola Highway next January, which will house 100 full-time employees along with 75 part-timers.
She said B&W works in the nuclear steam generator repair market, doing robotic tooling design and fabrication as well as dealing with inspection technologies.
"Increasing our footprint in Chattanooga will allow us to expand our capabilities, explore new technologies and better serve the commercial nuclear services market," Mills said.
She said a developer is building the facility and B&W will lease the site.
Charles Wood, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce's vice president of economic development, said B&W's growth bolsters the region's strength in the energy sector. He said that segment is a leader in high-wage job creation for the city.
While an average wage of the new jobs wasn't available, it's expected to be more than the annual mean wage in Hamilton County of $40,130.
Allen Steagall, operations manager for Babcock & Wilcox Intech, said the new facility, which will be located next to Hamilton Plastics at the Riverport, will triple the company's footprint in Chattanooga.
"This expansion increases our capacity for solving customer challenges through new and innovative approaches while shortening the length of the inspection and repair process at operating nuclear plants," he said.
Steagall said Chattanooga is located near many of its customers, and he cited the new location's proximity to the Tennessee River and the Riverwalk.
J.Ed. Marston, the Chamber's vice president for marketing, said the property is being purchased from Hamilton County and the company is receiving no property tax breaks or incentives for the expansion.
Intech was established in Chattanooga in 1995 and then acquired by B&W in 2008. The company provides expertise in non-destructive examination inspection for the nuclear industry along with maintenance and repair, robotic tooling and process development for the fossil and nuclear markets.
Bill Hagerty, the state's economic and community development commissioner, said Tennessee has a long-standing tradition of excellence in energy and advanced technologies.
"When a company chooses to expand in Tennessee, it underscores the importance of having a strong, capable workforce in place," he said in a statement.
Both Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke lauded the project.
"This is a great example of how the public sector can work with the private sector to support the creation of new family-wage jobs," Coppinger said.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318.