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Electric Boat Says $10 Million State Loan Guarantees 8,900 Jobs

Harriet Jones

Electric Boat will use a $10 million loan from the state of Connecticut to buy and refit a building from nearby Pfizer. The Groton-based shipyard is launching a $31 million program to expand and upgrade its facilities.

Electric Boat plans to buy a parcel from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Corporation, which is also a major employer in Groton. The parcel includes land and buildings at 9 King's Highway. Electric Boat has already expanded into Pfizer'?s former research and development headquarters in New London.

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR
The Pfizer building in Groton that EB will take over with state help.

Electric Boat said it's making these investments to prepare for a ramp-up in production and contract work, as it begins work to turn out two Virginia Class submarines each year, in addition to the Ohio Class replacement program. It will add 200 jobs within two years to bring its total Connecticut employment to 8,900.

“Today’s announcement supports the required facility expansion that will help Electric Boat affordably deliver submarines to the U.S. Navy,” said Electric Boat President Jeffrey S. Geiger. “The state’s investment will also enable Electric Boat to grow, and remain a successful business and significant contributor to the economic health of Southeastern Connecticut.”

Asked if the state aid was critical to the expansion, Geiger said, “We spend tens of millions of dollars a year upgrading and expanding our facilities, but despite those resources there are limits. And this build out and this acquisition of this property would not have occurred without the support of the state and Governor Malloy.”  

DECD will provide the loan at an interest rate of two percent for a ten-year term. State officials said Electric Boat may be eligible for full loan forgiveness if it successfully fulfills its employment obligation of 8,900 total jobs over a two year period.

Senator Richard Blumenthal was also on hand for the announcement. He told the media this is the type of local public investment the Navy and the Pentagon look for. “It makes a critical difference that Connecticut has demonstrated its commitment, not only in words, but in dollars. And that may have a psychological effect way beyond the number of dollars involved. We are the submarine capital of the world and we’re proud of it, we invest in it. We put our money where our mouth is.”   

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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