SIMPSONVILLE, S.C., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- KEMET Corporation (NYSE: KEM), a leading manufacturer of tantalum, ceramic, aluminum, film, paper and electrolytic capacitors, officially opened its new Simpsonville Power Film Manufacturing Facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by several state and local officials and industry dignitaries.
The multimillion dollar project involves an addition and retrofitting of an existing facility at KEMET's Simpsonville plant to add a flexible manufacturing line, as well as the future addition of three automatic assembly lines to produce capacitors for electric drive vehicles and other green technologies.
Funding was made possible through a $15.1 million grant under the U.S. Department of Energy Recovery Act, as well as incentives from the state of South Carolina equaling $2.5 million and a $16.5 million investment by KEMET. Of significance to the local community is the commitment by KEMET to initially create more than 110 new jobs to staff the plant as it becomes fully operational.
"The hybrid electric and full electric vehicle market segment is expected to grow at a rate in excess of 19 percent over the next 10 years. With 35 percent of that growth in the U.S., we are in a unique position to provide our customers with the required DC bus capacitors from our new state-of-the-art facility here in Simpsonville," said Per Loof, KEMET Chief Executive Officer. "Transportation is 16 percent of our total revenue and that will only expand as vehicles become more integrated with electrical technology. I think we are investing the taxpayers' money wisely."
South Carolina State Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, a speaker at the event, noted that Governor Nikki Haley's administration believes manufacturing is the way out of the economic doldrums.
"We must have innovation and, certainly, electric cars are a big part of the innovation," Hitt said. He went on to say that 10 percent of the state's work force is in manufacturing, but it generates 17 percent of the state's gross product.
Kevin Pavlov, Chief Operating Officer of Magna E-Car Systems, who also spoke at the event said, "Applications are endless for capacitors as vehicles continue to merge with electronic technology. Magna E-Car, which develops hybrid and electric vehicle systems, employs 1,400 workers in South Carolina and has been working with KEMET to develop its latest capacitors for electric vehicles."
KEMET has already hired nine workers and expects to start capacitor production on its flexible line in early December. Jobs will be added at the Simpsonville site as automated manufacturing lines are installed, beginning with the first line in a few months and additional lines added over the next few years.
"In hybrid and electric vehicles, direct current from the battery needs to be converted into alternating current to power the motor. Capacitors are a key component in the power inverter unit that performs this function," added Loof.
Further illustrating its commitment to the advancement of renewable energy technologies, KEMET recently added a Chevrolet Volt to its fleet and installed an electric vehicle charging station at its Simpsonville headquarters.
KEMET's common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol "KEM." At the Investor Relations section of our web site at http://www.KEMET.com/IR, users may subscribe to KEMET news releases and find additional information about our Company. KEMET applies world class service and quality to deliver industry leading, high performance capacitance solutions to its customers around the world and offers the world's most complete line of surface mount and through-hole capacitor technologies across tantalum, ceramic, film, aluminum, electrolytic, and paper dielectrics. Additional information about KEMET can be found at http://www.kemet.com.
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Dean W. Dimke
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SOURCE KEMET Corporation