Japan-based Meidensha Corporation is opening its new Meiden America Switchgear manufacturing facility in Laurens County. The company, with an investment of $8 million and the creation of 41 new jobs, is expanding production of its high voltage vacuum circuit breakers.
The production center will be located at 2200 Old Laurens Rd, in Fountain Inn, SC and will begin operations this month. The facility is approximately 60,000 sq. ft. and will utilize green solutions such as solar power and lighting. “We are excited to have Meiden America locate their new facility in Laurens County,” said Laurens County Council Chairman Dr. David Pitts. “Their investment and job creation are a testament that Laurens County is open for business and we welcome their commitment to our Community.”
Meiden America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Meidensha Corporation, established Meiden America Switchgear which will expand the production of their environmentally friendly high voltage vacuum circuit breakers rated 72.5kV and 145kV at the new South Carolina facility, its first production base in North America. This location will also become the North American sales hub of Meiden’s vacuum interrupters.
“We are very excited to establish our first manufacturing base in US," said Meidensha Corporation Senior Managing Executive Officer Nobuaki Tamaki. "We believe our new base in Laurens County, South Carolina will enable us to maintain our high standard of quality, while delivering Meiden’s world class vacuum circuit breaker and vacuum interrupter across North America. We are proud to employ the dedicated workers of this state and want to express our gratitude to the county and state personnel who worked so diligently with us to select this location. We will manufacture environmentally friendly equipment mainly for electric utilities in Americas. It is our pleasure to manufacture such kind of equipment in this state.”
According to company officials, while the primary focus will be on selling vacuum bottles and the manufacture, assembly and test of HV circuit breakers without SF6 gas, other switchgears will be offered. Corporate personnel specializing in engineering, quality, design, field service, spare parts and sales will service customers from this new location.
According to company officials Meiden set aggressive overseas growth targets in its 2020 Medium-Term Management Plan. Meiden’s world class vacuum circuit breakers and vacuum interrupters address the growing demand for eco-friendly switching equipment in North America, as the incentive grows to replace aging substation equipment with environmentally friendly alternatives, without the use of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas.
Regulations are being toughened across North America on the use of SF6, which is a potent greenhouse gas, a company spokesperson said. The drive to decarbonize the grid by shifting to renewable energy-based, distributed energy resources, further drives demand for Meiden’s emissions free power distribution equipment.
Meiden’s 72.5kV vacuum circuit breakers, which do not use SF6, were released in North America in 2007, and sales of Meiden’s 145kV vacuum circuit breakers will commence in the U.S. in April 2020. At the core of Meiden’s vacuum circuit breakers are its vacuum interrupters, which Meiden has been manufacturing since the mid-1960s. Meiden’s vacuum interrupters are also sold separately to manufacturers in Japan and abroad.
“International investment continues to make Laurens County thrive," said Laurens County Development Corporation President and CEO Jonathan Coleman. "Meiden America Switchgear’s new facility in Laurens County is a further example of that for our County and the Upstate South Carolina region. We appreciate their commitment to our County, and we commit to provide them with a long and prosperous relationship.”
Founded in 1897, Meiden is a global supplier of power and energy products with companies worldwide. Individuals interested in joining the Meidensha Corporation team should visit https://www.meidensha.com/msl/career/index.html.