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Tecumseh To Add Jobs In Mississippi

Thu, 07/25/2013 - 8:13am

VERONA, Miss. (AP) -- A refrigeration compressor company will expand its factory near Tupelo, adding up to 150 new jobs over the next five years.

Tecumseh Products Co. said Wednesday that it will begin making a new kind of compressor at its Verona plant, which already employs 350 people.

The company will invest $10 million, said Mississippi Development Authority spokesman Jeff Rent. The project will add an additional production line and expand production on an existing line that makes condensing units.

Tecumseh officials said the Verona plant was selected over facilities in China, India and Eastern Europe to make its top-of-the-line compressor. In addition, the move means some of the current production of that AE2 commercial refrigeration compressor will be shifted from Brazil and France to Mississippi.

The MDA will loan the company $4 million and give it a $600,000 grant. The Tennessee Valley Authority will provide unspecified assistance, and Lee County will abate property taxes on the new equipment and renovations.

Earlier this year, in a separate agreement aimed at retaining the jobs, MDA agreed to loan the company up to $1.5 million for equipment purchases. Both loans are at 2.25 percent interest.

The company has been facing falling sales and uncertain cash flow, possibly increasing the importance of state aid.

"Expansion of our Verona manufacturing production wouldn't be possible without the strong financial assistance from the state of Mississippi," Tecumseh CEO Jim Connor said in a statement. "The opportunity is timely as the global economy continues to improve along with the demand for our products."

Tecumseh, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., has operated the Verona plant since 1975.

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