YORK, PA-GEA PHE Systems North America Inc. has broken ground for a 162,500-sf manufacturing facility and a 35,000-sf administration building in the Orchard Business Park. The company is a new subsidiary of Bochum, Germany-based GEA Group, a mechanical engineering firm with operations in 50 countries.

Construction costs for the new facility are estimated at $20 million. The new US company results from the consolidation of two merged GEA subsidiaries. They are GEA FlatPlate Inc., which is based here, and GEA WTT, based in Bohemia, NY.

The new facility will provide production, sales and application support for high-performance heat exchangers used in refrigeration, heating and industrial processes. In addition, a new line of heat exchangers will be produced here. The company anticipates creating a minimum of 200 new jobs within five years.

The state provided $1.1 million in incentives to persuade the company to locate here. The GEA subsidiary is also eligible for a $5-million low-cost loan through the Citizens Job Bank program.

“Manufacturing contributes far more than any other sector to Pennsylvania’s economy,” says Dennis Yablonsky, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development. He reports that since 2003 York County’s unemployment rate has fallen 1.6% to 3.5% this April, which is the most recent local reporting period.

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