Alfa Laval is adding 30 jobs to its Broken Arrow heat-exchanger factory, it announced Wednesday.
Sparks flew in the background during a press conference inside the Sweden-based company’s Broken Arrow site, where the manufacturing of wet surface air coolers will be moved from the Buffalo, New York, area.
The wet surface air coolers, which use water to cool air, are used in facilities such as refineries, said Alfa Laval Air Group General Manager Brandy Moore. The company’s other products include pumps, valves and boilers, according to Alfa Laval’s website.
Moore said the decision to close the New York factory and relocate its manufacturing work was a difficult one.
“But ultimately we saw Broken Arrow and this community as a great place to be able to utilize a lot of the same skill sets,” she said.
Sales, engineering, service and support operations will stay in the Buffalo region, according to a press release from the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.
Some of Alfa Laval’s large customers are refineries and export terminals in Houston, which is about a two-day drive from Oklahoma for delivery of the large heat exchangers, Moore said.
Broken Arrow officials typically like to attract new jobs instead of taking jobs from other areas, Broken Arrow Economic Development Corp. CEO Jennifer Conway said.
But “this is exciting because it was a targeted decision based off of Broken Arrow’s qualified workforce and pro-business environment,” Conway said. “So that speaks a lot. When these businesses are making strategic decisions — what’s best for their growth — and they look to where they can get the right employment and the right people.”
The new jobs will have an average wage of $66,000, including benefits, and will have a potential economic impact of $13.9 million, according to the chamber.
Mayor Debra Wimpee said she was looking forward to the impact of Alfa Laval’s expansion on the local economy.
“It can help the business expand, which means they could create more jobs, which creates, hopefully, more residents that are in your city, having new money and bringing higher wage jobs to our community,” Wimpee told the Tulsa World. “It’s a wonderful cycle that helps our city continue to grow and thrive.”