Company expects to employ 150 to 300 workers within five years
HASTINGS – HexFuel, a Maplewood startup that makes technology that improves the performance of diesel engines, is planning a manufacturing facility in Hastings that will employ 150 people within three years and potentially 300 in five years.
The company plans to open the facility in a 35,000-square-foot lumber yard building at 1101 Spiral Blvd. in a Hastings business park and may add more space, if necessary, to accommodate future growth. The company is investing $10 million in the expansion project.
To assist the expansion, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will award HexFuel $740,000 from the Minnesota Job Creation Fund if the company meets its performance goals.
The fund was first proposed by Governor Mark Dayton last year and was among $24 million in business incentives that were approved in the 2013 legislative session. Officials said the funding was a necessary investment that will help the state compete for new jobs and businesses.
“Minnesota employers have added more than 149,000 new jobs over the last three years. And business expansions like this one at the HexFuel manufacturing facility in Hastings have made all the difference,” said Governor Dayton. “I congratulate HexFuel on this important development, and for the many new jobs their business will create and support in the years ahead.”
“Minnesota has been fueled by innovation and has a long history of successful entrepreneurship,” added DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “HexFuel’s cutting-edge device might be the next great technology from Minnesota, holding much promise for the commercial trucking industry and power generation market.”
HexFuel will make its patented BoostBox at the site – a device that company officials say improves fuel efficiency, reduces emissions, increases torque and reduces maintenance on diesel-powered vehicles. The technology can be installed in about three hours on all diesel engines, according to the company.
Company officials said the BoostBox can improve fuel efficiency by between 10 percent and 30 percent in diesel-powered vehicles and can cut emissions by between 20 percent and 50 percent. The technology works by converting water to hydrogen and oxygen to increase the efficiency of diesel combustion, according to a video on the company website.
“The expansion of startup manufacturer HexFuel is another great example of the innovation our region is known for and how it’s leading to job growth,” said Michael Langley, CEO of GREATER MSP. “HexFuel’s decision to grow here is a boost for the company and our economy.”
HexFuel is headed by CEO David Ault, who led a group of investors that purchased the BoostBox technology about 18 months ago. The company has a smaller manufacturing facility in Utah, where about 25 people are employed.
The Minnesota Job Creation Fund is a new, pay-for-performance program that provides up to $1 million to businesses after they meet certain criteria, including minimum requirements for job creation and private investments. Under the program, businesses must create at least 10 full-time jobs and invest at least $500,000 to be eligible for financial assistance.
The program is available to businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, technology and other eligible activities. Companies must work with the local government (city, county or township) where a project is located to apply to DEED to receive designation as a Job Creation Fund business.