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Staff file photo / Burner Systems International sold this 143,000-square-foot plant to Zeus Industrial Products in August after closing the factory in 2018. Zeus plans to spend $11.25 million to renovate the complex on Cummings Highway in Lookout Valley

This story was updated Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, at 9 p.m. with more information.

A year after acquiring MWC Technologies in Chattanooga, a global maker of polymer extrusions and custom tubing has begun renovating a Lookout Valley factory with plans to hire at least 54 more workers over the next five years.

Zeus Industrial Products Inc. which bought the former Burner Systems International plant on Cummings Road in Lookout Valley for $4.8 million in August, announced Thursday it will invest $11.25 million to renovate the 143,000-square-foot complex where it will relocate its Hamilton County operations.

"With the purchase of MWC Technologies, Zeus gained important capabilities that fit nicely with our product strategy," Steve Peterson, president of Zeus Industrial Products, Inc.., said in an announcement of the planned expansion. "The unique advantages we created helped grow demand for our existing products and expand our portfolio with new solutions. However, for production to keep pace with this growth, we needed a larger facility."

Zeus is relocating MWC's operations from its Shallowford Road site to boost its production and staff. The company is a 53-year-old privately-held firm with more than 1,700 employees at 11 U.S. facilities, plus a facility in Guangzhou Shi, China.

Jennifer McQuesten, vice president of corporate communications for Zeus, said earlier this year the company is planning to revamp its new Chattanooga site in two phases. The first phase involves renovating about 10% of the facility for immediate use and, over time, the growing company expects to expand its operations to accommodate the entire facility.

Burner Systems International built the factory in 1997 but shut it down and moved its operations to Mexico in 2018, two years after the company was acquired by the global engineering and manufacturing company Robertshaw.

The planned renovation of the factory is part of a $100 million expansion planned by Zeus, which makes polymer tubing used for medical devices. The company announced this summer that it has purchased two facilities near its headquarters in Orangeburg, South Carolina and is building another plant near Columbia, South Carolina.

"Zeus's significant investment is great news for Hamilton County, and I look forward to seeing how it will improve the lives of our residents," Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a statement Thursday.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said "the wages from good manufacturing jobs like these are essential to helping more Chattanoogans live the lives they want" and thanked Zeus for "strengthening our local workforce."

Since 2015, Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development has supported 44 economic development projects in Hamilton County, resulting in more than 6,500 job commitments and nearly $1.6 billion in capital investment.

"This expansion by Zeus underscores the ripe business environment we've fostered in Tennessee," said Bob Rolfe, commissioner for the state's Department of Economic and Community Development.

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6340.

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