K Machine Industrial Services, LLC, a full-service industrial contractor offering machining and millwright services, will expand its shop by 20,000 square feet, adding heavier lift capacity and larger machines as well as 150 to 200 new jobs when the project is complete.
K Machine general manager Andy Dyer made the announcement Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the Savannah Economic Development Authority.
“K Machine has been in Savannah since 1993 and was acquired by its current owner, MacAljon, in 2004,” Dyer told the board. “Since that time, we’ve seen steady growth, going from 20 employees to more than 100. This expansion will allow us to continue to grow with the industries we serve.”
K Machine, with its 45,000-square-foot facility, is part of the MacAljon family of businesses — including Industrial Conveyor Belt and Custom Quality Scaffolding — located at 4524 Ogeechee Road in Savannah.
The company specializes in the machining and repair of turbines, pumps and valves for a variety of industries, including Mitsubishi, Georgia Ports Authority and others.
With an extensive inventory of equipment and tools, K Machine’s machining and millwright crews offer outage and emergency support throughout the United States, mobilizing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to meet customers’ needs.
When completed in about two years, the multi-million dollar project will add between 150 and 200 jobs to the nearly 500 employees currently working at MacAljon affiliates, Dyer said.
Also at the meeting, the SEDA board agreed to contribute $250,000 to what the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport hopes will be a $1 million Community Air Service Development Fund designed to help attract new service and carriers to the airport.
The Savannah airport has been trying to woo a low-cost carrier since AirTran Airlines departed in 2008, allowing Delta to raise rates out of Savannah.
“When Southwest Airlines announced they would be flying out of Charleston, S.C., it was a blow,” said Greg B. Kelly, airport assistant executive director. “But we redoubled our efforts to land JetBlue.
“When JetBlue announced service to Charleston, it was an even bigger blow.”
In comparing the incentives the two airports put on the table, it became clear the difference was in the cash incentive being put up by the community, including the Charleston Chamber and Visitors Bureau.
“We realized we needed a similar fund,” Kelly said.
The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah have already pledged $250,000 and the city, county and the Hilton Head Chamber are also expected to help.
“We’re already starting to see some shift in the northern Hilton Head area to Charleston, and we know we lose some passengers to Jacksonville,” Kelly said.
“We can’t allow that to continue.”
In other SEDA business, the board:
• Accepted a resolution, approved earlier in the morning at the World Trade Center Savannah board meeting, transferring oversight of Foreign Trade Zone 104 from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport to the World Trade Center Savannah.
• Gave the approval to refund at a lower interest rate the 2002 bonds issued on behalf of Georgia Tech Savannah for the two buildings it occupies on Technology Circle in Crossroads Business Park.
• Approved the appointment of Ann Purcell, outgoing state representative from Rincon, to the board of the World Trade Center Savannah, making her the first female appointee and the first appointee outside Chatham County.
• Heard a report from businessman and filmmaker Stratton Leopold on attracting more filmmaking to the area, one of SEDA’s targeted industries.