The Free Press
MANKATO — MTU Onsite Energy in Mankato will be undergoing a multi-phase expansion of its power generation manufacturing plant and is finishing up a new research and development center.
Its parent company, Germany-based Rolls-Royce, announced that the project is a $13.9 million investment in the Mankato site at 100 Power Drive. The main portion of the project will be the addition of 28,000-square feet to the facility’s existing assembly hall, allowing for additional assembly lines, enhanced product testing capabilities and creation of 20 new manufacturing positions, according to a news release from MTU.
By expanding one of the existing assembly lines to accommodate the production of high-power MTU gas generator sets, capacity at the plant is expected to increase by an estimated 25%. This will mark the first time the gas generator sets have been produced in the U.S., the company said.
The project is a result of growth in the market — 2019 was a record year for the Mankato facility — and demand for the company’s products resulted in the need for updated facilities, equipment and processes, according to MTU.
“Our MTU plant in Mankato has played a decisive role in our encouraging growth in the Americas. We intend to continue on this successful course by working hard to emerge from the crisis stronger than before. More consistently than before, we are pursuing our strategy of evolving from an engine manufacturer to a provider of sustainable solutions,” Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said in a statement.
“This investment in our Mankato plant will help us to meet the growing demand for energy in the Americas with locally manufactured products. Mankato will thus become an even more important part of our worldwide production network in the future.”
Another benefit of the expansion cited by the company is it will allow for improved logistics services and safety enhancements to the site. With the added space, logistics will be separated from assembly operations, and oversized doors will be added to better facilitate lifting and rigging operations. The traffic routes and parking for the site also will be modified to separate truck traffic from employee parking.
The first phase of the assembly hall expansion is set to be complete in February 2021 with the final phase targeted for completion in September 2021.
The new research and development center is to be fully operational this month. A front office renovation was completed in December 2019 and included the addition of 21 new workstations.