NEWPORT NEWS-- Liebherr Mining Equipment will invest $45.4 million to expand its operation in Newport News and Hampton, adding 174 new jobs over four years.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co. has been manufacturing construction and mining equipment since 1970 and serves as the North American headquarters for four operating companies.

Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Jim Cheng, says the company's proximity to the Port of Virginia makes it easier to ship their equipment worldwide.

'Close proximity to the Port of Virginia offers the potential for Liebherr to further capitalize on import and export opportunities,' said Cheng.

According to the governor's office, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Newport News, Hampton and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia.

McDonnell approved a $500,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Newport News with the project and approved an $800,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies.

'It is gratifying that the company will add 174 additional good paying jobs in the years ahead. That's great news for Hampton Roads and all of Virginia,' said McDonnell.

'Liebherr's decision to expand its facility in Newport News speaks to the city's business-friendly environment,' said Newport News mayor McKinley Price.

Hampton Mayor Molly Ward said, 'This expansion will be a boost for the region, especially in new jobs. We appreciate Liebherr's commitment to the cities of Newport News and Hampton, and we look forward to the company's continued growth.'

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