FCTech will manufacture state-of-the-art fiber optics in new Botetourt plant

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BOTETOURT – An Austrian-based manufacturing company announced today it is opening its first American subsidiary in Botetourt Center at Greenfield marking what has been “a banner year” for the county’s economy.

Fiber Cable Technology (FCTech) is expected to begin construction on its new fiber optics manufacturing plant on a lot in Greenfield this fall with the intent of shipping its first products next summer. The project will create 25 new jobs with average wages for the new jobs ranging from $70,000- $80,000.

FCTech will manufacture and market state-of-the-art specialty optical fiber for the oil and gas, medical, defense and aerospace markets, as well as specialty optical cables for the oil and gas, defense and energy markets.

It is a record fifth industrial development announcement in the county this year. In 1996, the county had four economic development announcements involving industry.

NBG Holding GmbH, an Austrian-based manufacturer of stainless steel tubes with integrated optical fiber, will invest $5 million to establish FCTech.

“Our company has a solid track record of establishing and growing companies in the fiber optics market,” said Karl Bauer, CEO and Managing Director of NBG Holding and President of FCTech during the announcement held at Greenfield Education & Training Center. “This year we initiated a strategy to open new markets, principally in the U.S., and we are delighted to join other international companies that have found Botetourt County to combine a quality workforce with low costs of doing business. We look forward to starting our new U.S. operation and appreciate the support of Botetourt County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

NBG Holding, headquartered in Gmund, Austria, is the parent company to a number of subsidiaries in the fiber optic space.

“I would like to extend a warm welcome to FCTech and NBG Holding,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, at the announcement. “FCTech not only brings 25 new employment opportunities, it brings jobs that pay well above the average prevailing wage for Botetourt County. The administration and the partners involved were determined to bring NBG to Virginia, and we are extremely pleased at the positive outcome of our efforts.”

County Administrator Jerry Burgess and Botetourt Board of Supervisors Chairman Billy Martin also welcomed the principals in the new firm and acknowledged the work done by state and regional economic development officials and the county economic development team.

“It is great news for the Commonwealth to be selected as the launching pad for NBG Holding’s U.S. business,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a news release about the new firm. “Virginia is well-positioned to be a long-term partner, as the target markets for NBG are closely aligned with our growth industries that include the aerospace, medical and defense sectors. This project is a testament to the strength of Virginia’s workforce and a demonstration that our pro-business climate is recognized at the global level.”

A $4 billion global market for distributed fiber optic sensors is forecasted to double over the next four years, driven in large part by the continued growth of fiber optic sensing applications. Market segments that will see the most growth are in well oil and gas sensing, homeland security applications, and defense underwater monitoring.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Botetourt County and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment and training activities.

“It has been a banner year for Botetourt County,” said Burgess. “We’ve announced the location of Canatal and expansions at Dynax America, Arkay Packaging and TREAD Corporation. And now, FCTech lends a high-tech flavor to our run of success. So far this year, companies have announced investments of over $35 million and 378 new jobs. And with the region’s lowest unemployment rate, Botetourt is a shining example of economic opportunity.”