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SMITHFIELD, PA-Johnson Matthey Inc. has selected a site near the planned I-68 expressway here in Fayette County for construction of an 118,000-sf manufacturing plant. The company is a London-based specialty chemicals firm with operations in 30 countries, including North America regional headquarters in Wayne.

The estimated construction cost of the new facility is $43 million. Working with the Governor’s Action Team, the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council has arranged for a $3.5-million incentive package. It includes a nearly $2.3-million loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, an $825,000 opportunity grant, a $300,000 infrastructure development program grant and $200,000 in customized job training funds. The land is a designated Keystone Opportunity Zone, which forgives state and local taxes for up to 10 years.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has called for stricter heavy-duty diesel emission standards by Jan. 1, 2010. This facility will manufacture control catalysts that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxygen from heavy-duty diesel vehicle exhaust and expects to produce more than one million such units a year. It will be fully operational by the end of 2009 and employ 110 within the next three years.

“There was a lot of competition for this project, which was an important win for the commonwealth,” says Gov. Ed Rendell in a statement. Noting that the company is retaining 627 jobs at its Wayne location, he adds, “Johnson Matthey’s future North American growth will take place at this new facility. This investment will also protect the state’s environment.”

“This new facility in Fayette County will be an important addition to our manufacturing infrastructure,” says Neil Carson, CEO of Johnson Matthey, in a press release from its London office. A call to the company’s Wayne location was not returned by deadline.

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