Kohler Unveils New Arizona Manufacturing Facility

The 1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility will employ more than 400 workers in Casa Grande. Plus, Arizona strengthens economic ties with South Korea.

This week, kitchen and bath product manufacturer Kohler Co. opened the doors to its new 1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona. Located on approximately 216 acres with room for future expansion, the facility produces STERLING brand bath and shower fixtures. The multi-million dollar capital investment features an advanced manufacturing facility, ancillary warehouse, distribution center, office space, and cafeterias. The site also includes a best-in-class showroom for customers and visitors to view leading-edge products.

“We welcome our new associates to Kohler Co. and look forward to being an active participant in the greater Casa Grande community, contributing to its growing economy and quality of life, providing good-paying jobs and benefits, and offering opportunities for career development and advancement,” said Norbert Schmidt, President-Kitchen & Bath North America for Kohler. “The new plant provides the capacity to support our strong growth projections for STERLING to better serve our customers with the highest level of quality and delivery. We thank our loyal customers and partners who have been crucial in helping to build our STERLING business to what it is today.”

Kohler Arizona
Participating in the May 14 ribbon cutting ceremony were (left to right) Tracy Jaeger, VP & GM of Bathing & Showering, Kohler Co.; John Bishopp, Plant Manager, Kohler Co.; Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland; Governor Katie Hobbs; David Kohler, Chair & CEO of Kohler Co.; Laura Kohler, Chief Sustainable Living Officer, Kohler Co.; Norb Schmidt, President of Kitchen & Bath North America, Kohler Co.; Sandra Watson, President and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority; Heath Holtz, Chief Operations & Supply Chain Officer, Kohler Co.; and David Mortenson, Chairman, Mortensen. (Photo: Arizona Commerce Authority)

 

“Arizona is a recognized hub of excellence for manufacturing, innovation, and sustainability, all of which are enhanced by the addition of Kohler’s new state-of-the-art facility,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “As one of the world’s most recognized brands known for its commitment to sustainability and innovation, Kohler strengthens Arizona’s rapidly growing manufacturing industry.”

A Smart, Sustainable Plant

The plant incorporates smart factory elements and production technology that create durable and stylish baths, shower receptors, and bath/shower walls. The Kohler, Wisconsin-based company will also track key sustainability measures to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, water use, solid waste, as well as energy efficiency.

Kohler Arizona
Kohler’s new manufacturing facility, warehouse, and office space comprises a total of approximately 1 million square feet, with room for future expansion. (Photo: Arizona Commerce Authority)

In March, Kohler was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations to begin award negotiations for up to $51.2 million, matched by company investment, to demonstrate a commercial scale decarbonization solution at the Casa Grande plant.

Kohler is pursuing an electric boiler and microgrid system and expects the upgrades to prevent at least 7,865 MT CO2e from being released annually. This represents a reduction of at least 90% of the pressing process emissions by eliminating CO2e emissions from natural gas boilers. Kohler will incorporate electric boilers, install a 21MW solar array microgrid, utilize long-duration energy storage (LDES) batteries with 68MWh of storage, and install 12MW of HVO-capable KOHLER industrial backup generators. The LDES batteries coupled with advanced microgrid controls eliminate all possible solar curtailment scenarios and enable the facility to run the boilers on renewable energy while performing solar smoothing, thereby reducing carbon emissions.

Additionally in 2023, Kohler supported a multi-year project led by Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Arizona State University, and Bridgestone to convert high water use crops to low water use crops to alleviate water stress on the local aquifers.

“Kohler’s new facility is a significant win for Casa Grande and Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Kohler’s sustainable manufacturing facility showcases Arizona’s attractiveness as a premier global destination for advanced manufacturing. We’re grateful an iconic company like Kohler is investing in our state while creating hundreds of skilled jobs in rural Arizona.”

“In opening this massive factory in Casa Grande, Kohler is capitalizing on the advantages Greater Phoenix offers in serving its customer base in the western U.S.,” said Chris Camacho, Greater Phoenix Economic Council President & CEO. “This globally recognized brand has found a home for manufacturing, warehousing and office space, and we’re thrilled to officially welcome them into the market.”

Arizona Strengthens Ties With Gyeonggi Province, South Korea

Also this week, Gov. Hobbs and Gyeonggi Province Governor Dong Yeon Kim signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will increase opportunities and strengthen economic ties between Arizona and the South Korean province.

The MOU focuses on advancing the economic development of both regions in areas such as workforce, technology, startups and information technology, advanced industries including manufacturing, youth education and training, culture, green technology and more.

Arizona South Korea
Governor Katie Hobbs and Gyeonggi Province Governor Dong Yeon Kim signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony in Phoeniz on May 14. (Photo: Arizona Commerce Authority / Facebook)

 

“I am proud to sign this Memorandum of Understanding today, and put pen to paper that Arizona and the Gyeonggi Province are committed to working together to move not just our respective regions forward, but the entire world forward,” said Gov. Hobbs. “By leveraging each other’s strengths in technology, research and development, this agreement promises to fuel groundbreaking initiatives and propel both regions to the forefront of the global economic landscape.”

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Gov. Hobbs previously met with Gov. Kim in September 2023 while visiting Republic of Korea and Taiwan and discussed collaboration and opportunities in advanced industries. During that trip, Arizona celebrated the opening of the Arizona Trade and Investment Office in Seoul to further economic and trade opportunities between Arizona and the Republic of Korea.

Arizona companies with a presence in the Republic of Korea include LG Energy Solution, which is building a $5.5 billion battery manufacturing complex in Queen Creek. In 2023, Arizona companies exported $559 million worth of goods to the Republic of Korea.

Check out all the latest news related to Arizona economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.

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