Global electrification and robotics company ABB Group will invest $40 million in a new, 90,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on Albuquerque’s West Side, the company announced Thursday morning.
ABB is a global leader in electricity-related products and services with manufacturing operations on every continent and about 120,000 employees worldwide. That includes nearly 450 people already employed at ABB’s current manufacturing operation on Bluewater Road NW near Coors Boulevard, where ABB has a 40-acre campus it’s occupied since 1973.
The new factory will be built on the existing campus, adding 55 new jobs to the local workforce when the facility comes online in 2024, said Ralph Donati, executive vice president and general manager for ABB’s Installation Products Division in the U.S. and Latin America.
“We’re not just expanding, but upgrading our manufacturing capacity in Albuquerque,” Donati told the Journal. “The new plant will be a greenfield facility with the latest technology in processing, machine manufacturing and robotics to make it a factory for the future.”
Once the new plant opens, it will double ABB’s local production capacity of cable products used by electric utilities, which is the primary ABB product made in Albuquerque, Donati said.
The expansion reflects rapidly growing demand for electrification-related products as the U.S. economy converts to renewable generation and fossil-fuel consumption gives way to electric cars and electrically-run infrastructure in homes, buildings and industry.
“Continuing to grow our U.S. manufacturing operations and distribution network accelerates our ability to deliver high-demand electrical products our partners rely on to manage today’s needs and prepare for tomorrow’s energy demands,” ABB Installation Products Division President Matthias Heilmann said in a statement.
The expansion also reflects growing utility demand for products to reinforce their grids against climate change-induced winter storms, summer heat waves, wildfires and other natural disasters.
ABB’s proprietary, Albuquerque-made “Elastimold” cable is specially designed to withstand harsh conditions and mitigate their impact, Donati said.
“We’ve been making Elastimold in Albuquerque since 1973,” he said. “The new facility will allow us to make a lot more of it to meet this increasing demand for electrification, grid resilience and safe power delivery.”
ABB is a 130-year-old corporation with global headquarters in Switzerland and its U.S. operations headquartered in North Carolina.
In July, it will celebrate 50 years in Albuquerque.
“It makes sense to expand in a place where we already have a well-established expertise and presence,” Donati said.