Equipment to be auctioned at non-operational Durham plant

Feb. 20, 2013 @ 06:23 PM

Equipment is to be auctioned off next week from a non-operational Durham plant where a United Kingdom-based electronics manufacturing company had at one time planned to create 155 jobs and invest $4.9 million.

ACW Technology was offered state and local incentives in 2010 to open a manufacturing facility here where printed circuit boards would be assembled and placed into electronic devices. It didn’t receive those incentives when it didn’t make its job-creation targets. The news was first reported by the Triangle Business Journal.

Kevin Dick, director of the City of Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development, said city leaders offered a $69,905 incentive to the company in January 2010. That was tied to plans to create 155 jobs across three years that would pay at Durham’s prevailing livable wage.

While the Durham JobLink Career Center did help the company fill 28 of 45 positions they initially hired, Dick said, the company did not meet the hiring benchmark required by the incentives, and so did not qualify for them.

Josh Ellis, public information officer for the N.C. Department of Commerce, said ACW Technology was also awarded a $50,000 One North Carolina Fund grant in 2010, but the company never received any grant payments. He said in an email the project was closed in December of 2011, per the company’s request.

In December, TT electronics announced the acquisition of the majority of the business and assets of ACW Technology Limited. The company said in a news release that it acquired the company’s manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom.

However, ACW’s manufacturing subsidiaries in China and in Durham are being sold off, according to the website for ACW International, the holding company for the group of electronics manufacturing businesses that provide contract manufacturing services.

ACW Technology’s 30,000-square-foot facility in Durham was equipped with new machinery and equipment, but is not operational, according to the website, http://www.acwtech.com/. It’s is being offered for sale as a whole, or in parts, according to the website.

William Gardner, president of The Branford Group, a Connecticut-based company that’s handling the online auction of equipment from the ACW Technology plant in Durham at 2500 Tri Center Blvd., said the sale that starts Tuesday is being held on behalf of ACW. He said the company did use some of the equipment.

ACW’s 48,000-square-foot Chinese factory in Zhuhai in Southern China and purchasing office in Shenzhen, also in Southern China, are also being sold.

TT electronics transferred associated production from ACW Technology’s facility in China to its own electronics facility in Suzhou, China, according to the news release about the acquisition.

Attempts to reach officials at ACW Technology were unsuccessful Wednesday. A spokeswoman for TT electronics declined comment.