Mobile’s Industrial Development Board on Friday afternoon approved tax abatements to help lure a manufacturer of noise-reduction insulation systems for jet engines to the Brookley Aeroplex.
The board approved more than $250,000 in sales and use tax abatements, as well as a 10-year abatement on ad valorem taxes to Hutchinson Aerospace and Industry, inc., which is scouting locations for a facility in the southeast.
The proposed 20,000 square-foot facility would add 100 jobs at first, but would also have plans to expand beyond, Hutchinson CEO Grant Hintze said, via a conference call from Paris, where the company is headquartered. He said a five-year plan for the proposed facility would be to grow it to 100,000 square feet.
Hintze told board members that Hutchinson is looking to expand its North American footprint and better serve companies like Boeing, Bell Helicopters and Airbus. He said the Alabama location would be centrally located to many of those companies’ manufacturing facilities.
“Our goal is to support all aerospace companies,” Hintze said.
Hintze told board members Hutchinson does roughly $200 million in business with Airbus in Europe, but would like to increase the $17 to $18 million it does in business with Boeing.
Plans would also include a “last-minute shop” to support Mobile’s Airbus facility with thermoacoustic insulation systems in case of damage to previous supplies through shipping.
Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Sisson said Hutchinson has 6,800 employees at 19 sites in the U.S. and has a total of 93 sites in 23 countries.
In addition to aerospace, Hutchinson business lines also involve defense, railroad and trucking, Sisson said.
Hintze said while considering Mobile, Hutchinson has also been on a whirlwind tour of Alabama, which included sites in Huntsville, Enterprise, Foley and others.
The Industrial Development Board also approved $260,000 in abatements for a $2.3 million expansion at Star Aviation, where officials are expecting as many as 50 new jobs.