DANBURY — The future for Fuel Cell Energy is looking green.
The designer and manufacturer of clean-energy fuel cell power plants is undertaking $65 million expansion project in two stages, all with a little help from the state Department of Economic & Community Development, which is providing a $20 million loan for the project.
The first ($23 million) stage involves expanding Fuel Cell Energy’s 65,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Danbury by an additional 90,000 square feet, which is slated for completion in 2016. Manufacturing equipment will be added as needed to increase annual production capacity from the current 100 megawatts to at least 200 megawatts.
The second ($42 million) stage involves the installation of a fuel cell to power and heat the facility, testing and prototype manufacturing capabilities, as well as provide hydrogen for the manufacture of fuel-cell components. Additional manufacturing will also be relocated from Fuel Cell’s Torrington facility to Danbury.
Half of the state’s $20 million loan will be allotted to each phase of the project, repayable at two-percent interest over 15 years. A total of $10 million will be forgivable if the company maintains and creates additional jobs, and the expansion qualifies for a further $10 million in Urban and Industrial Sites reinvestment tax credits.
Fuel Cell currently employs 625 workers globally, and has customers in nine countries.
DANBURY — Praxair is staying put.
The industrial gases company turned down offers to relocate to New York and Texas to keep its headquarters in Danbury, and is investing $65 million in a 100,00 square-foot expansion to its facility there.
This move will maintain 535 workers statewide, with growth of up to 120 jobs expected over the next five years. The company employs 27,000 people worldwide and operates in 50 countries.
The state Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) is assisting Praxair with a $10 million loan, and the company is also eligible for more than $20 million in additional tax credits.
The company also recently announced plans to expand its nitrogen production capacity over the next two years at its Kirtland, N.M. facility to more than 800 tons of liquid nitrogen per day, more than triple its current storage capacity.