Decatur, Alabama – Daikin America, a unit of Japanese conglomerate Daikin Industries, is launching a $195-million (€177-million) expansion project at its site in Decatur to mark the location’s 25th anniversary.
The company manufactures and sells a wide range of fluoropolymers, including Dai-El fluoroelastomers with high temperature and aggressive fluids resistance for sealing and fluid transport applications.
In a news release 12 Sept, Daikin said that the expansion would create 50 new jobs and include polymer production capability, associated monomer production, utility systems, infrastructure enhancements and R&D capabilities.
The construction work on the site will begin in January 2020, the company added.
The decision to expand the facility has come amid tariff tensions between the US and China, which, among others, stipulates a 25% tariff on fluoropolymer goods.
The Decatur facility was chosen over Daikin production locations in Japan and China for the polymer expansion project, explained plant manager and executive vice president David Hendrixson, without referring to trade disputes.
In July, executives with Daikin and other fluoropolymer-related firms testified before a government panel, saying that the tariffs would harm their industries.
They said that the tariffs would have a "disproportionately adverse" impact on the US industry, weakening its trade surplus with China and possibly pushing investment offshore.