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Mitsubishi planning Franklin expansion

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A Franklin manufacturing facility is planning a $9.4 million expansion project that would more than double employment over the next two years.

The Daily Journal reported Thursday that Franklin City Council members approved a pair of 10-year tax abatements for Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Climate Control, which plans to add 65 workers to its staff of 44.

MCC, which makes automotive air-conditioning systems, laid off nearly 90 workers at the facility a year ago, the newspaper said. In 2008, it closed a 60-employee plant in Greenwood but transferred some of the workers to Franklin.

General Manager Bob Francis told the Daily Journal that improving auto sales and the demand for more energy-efficient parts is fueling the expansion. Francis was not available for comment Thursday morning.

The company, which is owned by Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., plans to spend $8.9 million on equipment and $450,000 on the facility, the newspaper said. It expects to begin hiring at the end of 2011.

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