A German manufacturer of electric motors and fans broke ground Tuesday on a 177,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in the Washington County Industrial Park.

The ceremony comes more than two years after Ebm-papst announced it will invest $37 million at the site and create as many as 200 new jobs in the region.

The economic development project was made possible by a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Washington County.

Mark Shiring, president and CEO of Ebm-papst, told those who attended the groundbreaking ceremony that his company has “fantastic growth potential” at the Telford location. He said construction on the manufacturing facility is slated to be completed by the summer of 2022.

“It’s fitting on our company’s 40th anniversary in the United States that we would be putting the stakes in the ground for our second and largest manufacturing plant in North America,” Shiring said. “This is only step one. We’ve got enough land here to keep our growth going.”

He said the German company also operates in Farmington, Connecticut, and now has 400 employees in this country.

Shiring said the company is currently operating out of a temporary location in Johnson City. Ebm-papst spent $1.45 million to renovate a former warehouse at 611 Wesinpar Drive. Shiring said the company now has 75 employees and shipped 300,000 motors from the plant last year.

Thomas Wagner, Ebm-papst’s global CEO, said the company now has 26 production plants worldwide, including nine locations in Germany where it maintains its corporate headquarters. While Eastern Europe represents the company’s largest market, he said Ebm-papst is a global company that believes the United States is one of its fastest-growing markets.

“We started our operation from scratch in Johnson City, and we are still growing despite COVID,” Wagner said.

He said the Telford plant, which he noted will be constructed as an “environmentally friendly and non-polluting” facility, represents Ebm-papst’s “largest single investment in North America.”

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Press Senior Reporter

Robert Houk has served as a journalist and photographer at the Press since 1987. He is a recipient of the Associated Press Managing Editors Malcom Law Award for investigative reporting.

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