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Philips Lighting to Invest $2 Million in Mississippi LED Plant

Philips Lighting, the world’s largest lighting products company, is continuing to invest in LED production by spending $2 million and expanding operations at its Tupelo, Miss. plant. The expansion, which the company calls a new major manufacturing hub, will mean initially adding 50 jobs with many more expected in the future.

Philips said the expansion includes incorporating LED technology made at the company’s San Jose, California facility, into the Tupelo’s production facility. Like the other lighting products made in Tupelo, they’ll be marketed and sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The new facility will include state-of-the-art intelligent fixtures that automatically respond to their environment, adding to the technology’s already high level of energy efficiency.

“As the world’s largest lighting company, Philips is leading the LED revolution, enabling our customers to embrace more efficient lighting solutions – solutions that are made right here in Tupelo,” said Iain Logan, a Philips senior vice president who is head of operations for Philips Lighting Americas. “Our expansion at this facility reinforces our commitment to this community, which helps us to turn innovations into world-class products that are good for the local economy and the environment. It is a great example of a public-private partnership that works.

“We want to go beyond the 50, let’s be very clear,” added Logan. This is a very big facility. We have a lot of space and we want to fill it.”

The company now has 350 workers at the Tupelo facility, which contains more than 550,000-square-feet.

Philips Lighting opened in 1947 as Day-Brite, according to news reports. Dutch-based Philips NV bought Genlytle – Day-Brite’s parent company – in 2008.

Logan said Philips has been looking at the project for more than a year.

“Every year, Philips analyzes its industrial footprint in North America, and every year we refresh our plans,” he said. “I can say we made a plan three years ago, and in the plan we had a vision for which plants would become large lighting facilities and Tupelo was decided it would become one of them. The people here are great, the willingness to work is fantastic and the leadership of the local team is second to none.”

Equipment for the project already is arriving, and initial production should begin in late October, officials said.

The Mississippi Development Authority provided a $1 million grant for building modifications. While no local money was provided in grant form, Philips will get a 10-year tax exemption on the equipment it is bringing in for the project, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

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