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Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s $16 million investment could mean the addition of dozens of new workers.
Monday, March 4, 2013
Bedford County officials announced Monday that Babcock & Wilcox Co. will invest more than $16 million in its nuclear energy subsidiary that could bring 30 high-paying technology jobs and 100 seasonal employees to the county.
Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy Inc. will expand into a 16,000-square-foot building on Vista Centre Drive in Forest under a five-year lease. The company will spend more than $500,000 in real estate improvements and more than $16 million in high-tech machinery to be used for testing, training and mock inspections and repairs in the commercial nuclear energy sector.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company has a large presence in Lynchburg, Bedford and Campbell counties, where it employs more than 2,400 people at four sites. In 2011, Babcock & Wilcox’s subsidiary mPower Inc. built an electric-powered prototype of a nuclear reactor at the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research beside U.S. 460 in New London.
Thirty new jobs are expected to be added over three years, according to a county news release. Also, 39 employees will be relocated from the Lynchburg office to Bedford County.
The new jobs will include project managers, project engineers, field supervisors, robotics technicians and business and administrative staff.
The 100 seasonal employees will be hired to work on off-site projects, which will require extensive travel.
Babcock & Wilcox will begin working on the site later this month and could begin operations in the county this summer, said Traci Blido, Bedford County’s director of economic development.
Blido said that Bedford County was competing with a locality in another state to house the company’s expansion.
“This keeps jobs in Virginia,” Blido said. “We know that the company had a choice to move outside Virginia. We’re very happy they kept it here.”
The Virginia Tobacco Commission awarded a $215,000 grant toward the expansion. Bedford County’s Board of Supervisors, Economic Development Authority and Office of Economic Development also provided assistance.
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