According to a new statement put out this past Monday, Leonardo Electronics US Inc., which manufactures defense, security, medical and industrial products, plans to build a new semiconductor laser manufacturing facility on 13 acres at Innovation Park in Oro Valley, six miles north of Tucson, Arizona.
The one-story, tilt-up building will include manufacturing, assembly, testing, research, and development, administrative and office space and come in at 120,000 square feet. Sundt Construction, which will handle the creation of the facility, expects to begin construction in the first half of 2022 and finish in the first quarter of 2024. Green building is central to the design, in accordance with Leonardo’s long-standing commitment to sustainable growth. Half the building is expected to include clean space, so reducing power consumption is a key requirement. In addition, the architect of the building is considering the addition of solar panels on the roof of the parking lot structure to offset some of the energy demand.
Leonardo Electronics US Inc., a subsidiary of Leonardo SpA, Rome., has been in Tucson since 2009, when it acquired Lasertel, and has since outgrown the original plant, which has already been updated by the company since then. “We wanted to stay close to our 200 employees and maintain access to the exceptional talent in the region, which is one of the leading photonics technology hubs in the country,” said Matt Keegan, president and CEO of the company. He estimates an investment of approximately $100 million in the area.
The total expansion will add 170 jobs to the Tucson plant, primarily in engineering, production, quality control, IT, HR, marketing, business development, purchasing and finance, says Laura Shaw, senior vice president of Tucson-based Sun Corridor Inc., the region’s economic development group. She expects a local impact of $374 million over the next 10 years.