FRANKFORT, Ky. – Cabinet for Economic Development officials today joined community leaders from Pulaski County to celebrate the opening by Aspen Compressor LLC of a mini-compressor manufacturing plant in Somerset. The $18 million project is expected to create 40 high-tech jobs and more than 200 jobs in all.
Governor Ernie Fletcher congratulated the company in a statement. “The location of Aspen Compressor will have a significant economic impact on the Somerset community, bringing hundreds of high-quality employment opportunities to the region,” the Governor said. “I am proud our Cabinet for Economic Development was able to assist Aspen in making today’s grand opening a possibility. We look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.”
The technology-based company, which manufactures miniature compressors for defense and civilian use, plans to supply its state-of-the-art products to original equipment manufacturers. The 19,400 square-foot plant, on Chappelle Dairy Road, houses a “clean room” and lab space for research and development.
“Air conditioning started with a Massachusetts native, Willis H. Carrier, exactly 100 years ago in 1907, forming Carrier Air Conditioning Corporation of America. Today’s plant opening in Somerset by Aspen Compressor marks a small but significant step toward more energy-efficient air conditioning as we embark on the second 100 years of air conditioning. We are very glad to have found a home in a very hospitable and business-friendly community,” said company Chief Executive Officer Kang P. Lee.
Aspen Compressor is an affiliate of Aspen Systems Inc. (ASI), which develops advanced technologies and products for energy, environmental and defense applications. ASI and its affiliates are global technology companies providing leading-edge solutions for defense, aerospace, law enforcement, chemical, oil and gas, and health care industries.
“The Somerset plant will be mass-producing the world’s smallest refrigeration compressor developed over the past 10 years by the parent company, Aspen Systems Inc., of Massachusetts,” Lee said. “These miniature compressors will become the basis for energy-efficient distributed air conditioning in contrast to space conditioning that we are used to today. Our products will be used in compact and often portable cooling systems for soldiers, firefighters, chem-bio-nuclear cleanup crews, steel mill workers, law enforcement personnel, and patients; microprocessors and electronics; and various small appliances, to name a few.”
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) granted final approval to Aspen Compressor for up to $1 million in tax benefits under the Kentucky Rural Economic Development Act, an incentive program designed to attract and expand manufacturing employment in the state.
KEDFA also granted approval to the Pulaski County Fiscal Court for $500,000 in funding through the Economic Development Bond pool for the benefit of the new plant. The funds are part of the budget appropriation specifically for Department of Commercialization and Innovation projects.
“To have Aspen Compressors, a leading-edge, technology-based company, choose to locate their new mini-compressor manufacturing plant in Pulaski County, is a great honor,” said Pulaski County Judge Executive Barty Bullock. “Through the untiring efforts of Congressman Hal Rogers, the state of Kentucky, as well as our local governments, in securing grant funding for this facility, we can continue to provide quality jobs for the citizens of Pulaski County. We welcome Aspen Compressors and look forward to watching their facility grow and become a stable part of our community.”
“Aspen Compressor represents a great addition to Pulaski County’s corporate community and will bring wonderful job opportunities in addition to advanced defense funding technology to the industry,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler. “I’m proud of the efforts by Somerset/Pulaski County, the state of Kentucky and Congressman Rogers in recruiting this major industry. On behalf of the citizens of Somerset/Pulaski County, I appreciate Aspen’s decision to locate its operations here in Somerset.”