Daikin’s new HVAC factory in Faribault to receive $2.35 million help from state

Daikin Applied Americas’ $40 million factory expansion in Faribault will receive $2.35 million in state loans and grants.Daikin Applied Americas — which makes heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for office towers, schools and factories — has lobbied the state for aid since the spring. That’s when Daikin first announced it was buying a building in Faribault to create the company’s third manufacturing factory in Minnesota.

The company already has 900 employees in the state. The newly purchased building is being renovated, with production expected to begin next summer. It will be staffed with 200 new hires.

State officials cheered Daikin’s expansion plans and said Friday the company will receive a $750,000 Minnesota Investment Fund loan and a $1.6 million Job Creation Fund rebate grant from the state, provided it first meets hiring and investment requirements.

“Daikin Applied explored multiple U.S. sites and Mexico for this project but ultimately chose southern Minnesota. The company’s decision to expand in the area is a testament to the region’s skilled workforce and positive achievements at existing operations,” said Commissioner Shawntera Hardy, who heads the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Daikin’s U.S. operations already boast large factories in Faribault and Owatonna and a U.S. headquarters in Plymouth. The company is part of Japan-based Daikin International, the largest maker of HVAC systems in the world.

State officials welcome the addition of manufacturing jobs, especially since they generally pay better than retail positions and involve technical skills. Daikin’s jobs typically require specialty skills such as steel welding, copper braising and designing electrical control panels that let building owners remotely monitor HVAC systems without having to physically inspect machinery on rooftops.

The HVAC units that Daikin makes in Minnesota can each cool as much air as 140 tons of ice. Each also costs $10,000 to $80,000 and boasts industry energy-efficiency ratios of 20, when the U.S. government calls for at least 11.

Daikin Applied Americas CEO Mike Schwartz said last month that the business is growing as customers increasingly want more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and technology that helps with maintenance.

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