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Pennsylvania manufacturer building plant in Manatee County, creating 250 jobs

A Pennsylvania manufacturer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) equipment plans to build a plant in Manatee County, creating 250 jobs.

The 300,000-square-foot facility will give Air Products, based in Allentown, Pa., a second location to make LNG heat exchangers, meeting a growing demand for the technology.

"Air Products' investment in Florida demonstrates our success in recruiting job-producing companies that strengthen our economy as well as our business climate," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in announcing the project Thursday. "This expansion is welcome news for Manatee County and our state as a whole."

Air Products said it plans to buy 30 acres at Eastport Industrial Park in Palmetto near Port Manatee. The new LNG manufacturing facility is expected to begin operations in late 2013 and ramp up to 250 employees over four years.

Air Products spokesman Art George would not disclose project costs, citing competitive reasons.

However, its job pledge qualifies the company to receive nearly $2.5 million in state and local incentives. In addition to $1.75 million in incentives from the state, Air Products is in line to receive $680,000 in performance-based incentives from Manatee County as well as a transportation impact fee incentive from the county estimated at $46,876.

To qualify for the incentives, the company must create 250 jobs over five years with an annual average wage that is approximately 25 percent higher than the county average.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at jharrington@tampabay.com.

Pennsylvania manufacturer building plant in Manatee County, creating 250 jobs 07/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:46pm]

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