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CHESWICK, PA-Roseland, NJ-based Curtiss-Wright Corp. has begun construction of a 48,000-sf plant on its existing electro-mechanical division site here. The state is providing a $440,000 financial package to support the project, which has an estimated construction cost of $62 million.

The nine-story building will be used initially to manufacture 16 commercial nuclear reactor coolant pumps for four commercial nuclear power plants that Westinghouse Electric Co. is building in China. The facility, which is expected to be operational next year, will also support the production and testing of other new products used to produce nuclear energy.

Gov. Ed Rendell hails the project as “cementing our role as one our nation’s largest exporting states and maintaining a strong trade relationship with China, a top importer of goods and services.” In a statement, he also cites this project as an example “of how our investments are triggering additional economic development growth.”

As GlobeSt.com reported in March, Rendell was instrumental in getting Westinghouse to select the nearby Cranberry Woods Office Park for its new $140-million nuclear energy campus. He signed legislation designating the Cranberry site a Strategic Development Area, which forgives state, local, county and school district taxes for companies that provide at least 500 jobs and invest a minimum of $45 million within three years.

Following its site selection, Westinghouse handed the cooling pump contract to Curtiss-Wright. “This new facility will support the design and manufacture of the largest canned motor pumps ever produced by EMD and the state-of-the-art components that are at the heart of the AP1000 nuclear reactor,” says Greg Hempfling, VP and general manager of the Curtiss-Wright EMD division here, in a statement.

The incentive package for this facility includes a $100,000 opportunity grant, $100,000 in customized job training funds and $240,000 in job creation tax credits. Curtiss-Wright now employs about 700 at its existing facility here, and will add 80 at the new plant.

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