BLAND COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Wednesday morning, Hitachi Energy announced the completion of a $6.2 million expansion of manufacturing facility in Bland, which is North America’s leading producer of dry-type transformers.
According to a statement released by Hitachi Energy on Wednesday, Oct. 20, this expansion was conducted in cooperation with the Commonwealth and has provided additional production capacity, featured the installation of state-of-the art technology to support new manufacturing capabilities, and created 40 new jobs at this location.
The company says Hitachi Energy — formerly known as Hitachi ABB Power Grids — has approximately 330 employees in Bland who design and manufacture medium-voltage transformers.
These transformers reportedly do not contain oil and are used to adjust and stabilize the voltage of electricity flowing through the country’s power grids, as well as in specialized industries like data centers and renewable energy.
“We are excited to show off our new, state-of-the-art capabilities here in Bland,” said Steve McKinney, Managing Director, Transformer Business for North America, Hitachi Energy. “Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, we have been able to maintain operations while completing this ambitious expansion. The success of this effort is a testament to the strong workforce we have in Bland, and the long-standing partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia, which has provided exceptional support to help bring this project to fruition.”
According to the company, the multi-million dollar expansion was initiated to address the fast-growing demand from customers across North America. The project included the establishment of a closed-coil casting system to support the manufacturing of larger components, as well as the installation of a new laser system for advanced manufacturing.
The Bland facility has reportedly been in operation since 1972 and serves as a critical element of the company’s manufacturing base in the U.S.
“Hitachi Energy’s expansion of operations in Bland is great for the company and Southwest Virginia,” said Gov. Ralph Northam. “After nearly 50 years in Virginia, Hitachi Energy has proven its commitment to the Commonwealth and our values, including our clean energy goals. The company’s focus on sustainable energy will benefit Virginians now and in the future.”
Wednesday’s statement says this project demonstrates Hitachi Energy’s commitment to local manufacturing in the U.S. and highlights the company’s significant investments in further modernizing operations in the region.
This news comes just over two weeks after Northam traveled to Wytheville and announced that the Commonwealth had attracted the largest job-creating investment in southwest Virginia in a generation with nearly 2,500 jobs.
Besides Hitachi Energy in Bland, the governor is visiting with other companies making major capital investments in Loudoun and Danville this week, according to Northam’s office.
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