Georgian Thermo King Plant To Close By 2012

Executives say they will close the small-town plant, which employs 235 people, by next year, in an effort to consolidate manufacturing.

LOUISVILLE, Ga. (AP) -- Executives with the parent company of Thermo King in the small Georgia town of Louisville say they will close the plant, which employs 235 people, by next year.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that Ireland-based Ingersoll-Rand will move the Georgia plant's manufacturing line to a Thermo King facility in Hastings, Neb.

Community leaders say the decision to close the plant, which has been in the town southwest of Augusta for 47 years, is a devastating loss for the region.

Misty Zelent, an Ingersoll-Rand spokeswoman, said that some employees may be offered an opportunity in other company facilities. She said the decision was made in an effort to improve all of the company's plants and to consolidate manufacturing where it makes sense.

Thermo King makes refrigeration equipment for the transportation industry.