Battery company to locate in West Point

Published 12:01 am Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ultralife Batteries Inc., which makes specialty batteries and chargers, has announced it will locate a development and assembly facility in West Point that will employ at least 30 people.

The project is part of a partnership announced last month with Mississippi State University. For the partnership, Ultralife and MSU will develop fuel cell-battery portable power systems for the military.

The development of the power system falls under a $1.6 million program that was awarded by the U.S. Defense Department to MSU, which then awarded Ultralife a $475,000 contract to participate as a subcontractor.

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The 14,000-square-foot facility in West Point will be used to manufacture the power systems, said Tim Climer, president of The West Point/Clay County Community Growth Alliance.

West Point is recovering from last year’s closing of Bryan Foods, which employed about 1,200 when it shut down. Ultralife is the latest in a series of new employers to locate in the county.

Under the contract, Ultralife will be in charge of the development, testing, approval and manufacturing of prototypes of a new compact military battery to be used with handheld tactical radios.

Ultralife signed a three-year lease for the space, which formerly was the research and development building for Bryan Foods.

Ultralife is in the process of moving into the new facility, and Climer estimated production will start around May 1.

Ultralife Batteries, located in Newark, N.Y., employs more than 1,000 people in the United States and overseas.

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