Lyon Station, Pennsylvania-based battery maker East Penn Manufacturing Co., Inc. is planning for a major expansion of its operations in Berks County.
As part of the expansion, East Penn will be building a new 458,000-square-foot battery manufacturing plant to support growth.
East Penn Manufacturing operates one of the world’s largest single-site lead-acid battery manufacturing facilities, which already has more than two million square feet of roofed space in the 520-acre complex in Lyon Station (also known as Lyons), a borough in Berks County.
The new building’s construction alone is expected to cost more than $50 million, and the expansion will create 400 new jobs, in addition to the 6,000 employees the company already has in Pennsylvania.
East Penn will also be making additional investments for equipment purchase and workforce training.
Dan Langdon, president of East Penn, specifically mentioned the cooperation they had received from the commonwealth, and the positive impact the expansion would have on the community and the company’s suppliers.
East Penn has been offered a very attractive package of incentives for the expansion project, which was secured by the Greater Berks Development Fund (GBDF) in partnership with the Governor’s Action Team (GAT).
On behalf of East Penn, GBDF is getting a $6 million loan from Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA), to be repaid with a low 1.5 percent interest rate over a 15-year period. The company is also getting a $5 million loan from Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund (MELF), to be repaid over 10 years at 1.5 percent.
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has approved East Penn for a $500,000 grant under the Pennsylvania First Program, along with job creation tax credits worth $800,000 and another $180,000 for workforce training.
Edward J. Swoyer Jr., president of GBDF, said that he could not think of a better investment than this East Penn expansion project that has similarly aligned the county and state’s goals on their economic development programs.
PA Gov. Tom Corbett said his administration was committed to enacting policies that encouraged employers such as East Penn Manufacturing to grow and create more jobs in Pennsylvania.