Business roundup: headlines from across the state


Here are some of this week’s top business stories from across the state: Alabama Gas to return $9 million to customers this winter

Alabama Gas Corp. customers will get a little relief on their bills this winter because the company’s earnings and projected earnings exceed the range allowed by the Public Service Commission.

The adjustment, which will return about $9.1 million to customers, is part of the PSC’s normal review of the utility’s earnings.

A typical residential customer will see a decrease of $3.50 per month from December through March because of the adjustment, according to the company. Savings will vary based on the amount of gas used.

The PSC allows Alabama Gas a return on average common equity of 10.5 percent to 10.95 percent.

The company’s projected return for the year ending Sept. 30 was above that range, 12.12 percent.

At its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the PSC voted to delay the return of the money until the cold weather months because it would benefit more customers, Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh said.

Alabama Gas has about 420,000 customers and has about a 4 percent increase in customers in the winter, according to the company.

Birmingham Business Journal: Huntsville named possible location for Dream Chaser landing

Huntsville will soon be the location for Sierra Nevada Corp. to conduct a feasibility study relating to a possible Dream Chaser spacecraft landing, which could result in more jobs for the Rocket City.

City officials said the studies will begin soon, as SNC begins to examine the possibility of landing the spacecraft at the Huntsville International Airport, according to a report from

Depending on the results of the study, the Huntsville airport could be the first to accommodate landings, coming back from either the International Space Station or low-Earth orbit missions.

SNC first opened in Huntsville in 2012 at 1525 Perimeter Parkway.

The firm built their first Alabama-based office in the hopes of attracting a high-skilled local workforce and collaborating with partner companies.

Areas of business for SNC include: Communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management, integrated mission systems and space systems.

SNC primarily serves customers such as NASA, the U.S. Army and Missile Command (AMCOM) and Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Based in Sparks, Nev., SNC has more than 3,000 employees in 33 locations in 18 states

The Dothan Eagle: Michelin to invest $22 million in Dothan plant, add jobs

An additional 40 jobs are expected in 2016 at the Dothan Michelin plant in an effort to increase production at the facility by 10 percent, officials announced Monday.

A news release from Michelin North America stated that the company intends to invest $22 million at the plant, which will include significant equipment upgrades in order to increase the production of its high-performance light truck and SUV passenger tires.

The upgrades are expected to be completed by next summer.

According to Michelin spokesman Tony Fouladpour, the company’s primary tire lines are the Premier LTX, LTX M/S2 and Latitude Tour. Dothan manufactures the Premier LTX, among other brands.
The Michelin news release attributed support for the project to the local Industrial Development Board, which Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Parker said assisted the city and Houston County with putting together development incentives for the Michelin investment.

Parker said one incentive includes employee training assistance through Alabama Industrial Development Training.

“We’re constantly maximizing opportunity with Alabama incentives to keep our plants in operation,” Parker said. “I’m so proud that our community is very aggressive in supporting expansion.”
The Dothan facility currently employs 560 people, according to Fouladpour. Paris-based aircraft support company opening facility in Alabama

A French company says it will open a facility on the Alabama coast to support the new Airbus factory in Mobile.

Hutchinson Corp. announced plans for a plant in Mobile on Monday at the Paris Air Show.

The center will deliver thermal acoustic insulation systems for airplanes. It will include a repair center and a service center.

The industrial development board in Mobile approved tax incentives for the $2 million facility last week.

Airbus is a major customer of Hutchinson. The European airplane manufacturer is currently preparing to open an A320 assembly plant in Mobile.

Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson says officials expect other suppliers to follow Airbus into the American market.

The Hutchinson facility is expected to being operating later this year in Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley.


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