MERRIMACK — Nanocomp Technologies is planning to triple the size of its manufacturing facility in Merrimack and hire 70 new employees in the next several months.
Nanocomp, a company that produces carbon-based advanced materials, will utilize $18.5 million in federal funds from the Defense Production Act Title III program to complete its expansion and to hire the additional workers.
“Ten years ago, we had two employees. Today, we have 76 employees with plans to more than double that number over the next year,” said Peter Antoinette, president and CEO at Nanocomp, 57 Daniel Webster Highway.
While the company started out in the military business in 2004, it has grown significantly since that time as a commercial producer of high performance, strong, light and conductive sheets, tapes and yarns that are made with carbon nanotube fibers.
“The Defense Department’s investment in Nanocomp Technologies is great news for New Hampshire jobs,” U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said in a prior statement. “The company’s ongoing expansion is a perfect example of how private-public partnerships can fuel private-sector growth and drive innovation, and I hope we see similar investments like this one in the future to help more small businesses hire and expand.”
Nanocomp’s headquarters in Merrimack will increase by about 30,000 square feet of manufacturing space that will function as the country’s first low-rate production facility.
“This substantial additional investment by the Department of Defense, in a time of government budget reductions, is a resounding endorsement of the anticipated positive impact of Nanocomp’s products on the U.S. military,” Antoinette said recently. “It is particularly gratifying that our company will be positively impacting the local economy as a significant component of these funds will flow directly to local trades and small businesses during the construction and fit-out phases.”
As the only commercial producer of carbon nanotube-based sheets, tapes and yarn, Nanocomp is working closely with the Department of Defense to reduce the weight of body armor while maintaining the level of performance for soldiers and law enforcement, according to a release.
Nanocomp materials are being used to replace heavy copper, providing beneficial applications across the aviation, defense, automotive, energy and consumer markets, says the release. A celebration event has been planned for Friday to kick off the expansion project.
“This is a great day for our company,” Antoinette said of the groundbreaking, adding Gov. Maggie Hassan, Shaheen and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte worked to make the funding a reality. “Their belief in us, and in the revolutionary materials we produce, materials that will save lives, enhance national security and also save energy, is the foundation for the jobs we are going to be able to create,” Antoinette said.