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GE says it will expand its battery production factory in Schenectady, N.Y. The factory will be part of the company's new energy-storage business.

The Durathon battery products are the result of GE's $100 million initial investment in battery technology developed at the company's Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y. The technology is designed to provide energy-storage options for a broad range of GE customers, including utility and telecom operators, according to the company.

The batteries are produced using raw materials, such as salt and nickel, and are non-toxic and fully recyclable. The batteries can operate at temperatures ranging from -4 degrees F to +140 degrees F.

GE will invest an additional $70 million to expand the Schenectady plant, effectively doubling production and adding 100 new jobs, which will bring the total factory workforce to 450 when at full capacity.

The battery plant has received support from both state and local government. New York State committed $15 million when the new plant was announced in May 2009, and Schenectady County's Metroplex Development Authority committed $5 million.

Johannesburg, South Africa-based Megatron Federal, an engineering company with products and services in power generation, transmission and distribution, has signed a purchase agreement for 6,000 batteries, which are expected to be delivered in 2013.


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