Stellar Energy confirms plans to triple capacity, add 250 jobs as Project Orion

Jacksonville City Council approved the $1.5 million economic development grant in October.

Reports indicate Stellar Energy has leased the former GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes Co. manufacturing facility at 12970 Normandy Blvd. in Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.
Reports indicate Stellar Energy has leased the former GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes Co. manufacturing facility at 12970 Normandy Blvd. in Alliance Florida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.
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Stellar Energy confirmed in a news release issued Jan. 23 that it is expanding its manufacturing capacity in Jacksonville after a deal with the city as Project Orion.

The Jacksonville-based company said it plans to triple manufacturing capacity in 2024 and projects a fivefold increase in 2025, creating 250 jobs this year.

The release, issued by JAXUSA Partnership, said Stellar Energy plans to invest more than $28 million in the project, comprising $20 million in the building and more than $8 million in equipment. 

The Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved the economic development deal in October for Stellar Energy, which was code-named Project Orion.

JAXUSA Partnership is the economic development division of JAX Chamber.

The release said Stellar Energy’s Turbine Inlet Air Chilling systems for power and LNG producers, and Modular Cooling Systems for hyperscale technology industries, are in high demand as companies seek to operate more efficiently and sustainably. 

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said in the release the expansion “perfectly aligns with our goals for increasing good-paying jobs and supporting Jacksonville’s fast-growing manufacturing industry.”

Stellar Energy Executive Chairman Peter Gibson

Stellar Energy Executive Chairman Peter Gibson said the expansion will not only bring a $28 million "investment to the city but also create high-paying jobs for the local community. This is a big plus for everyone.”

Gibson said the project will create at least 250 jobs in 2024, with more growth expected in the coming years.

A city project summary says the annual payroll of the new jobs is expected to be more than $12.5 million excluding benefits. At a minimum of 250 new jobs, the annual pay would average $50,000.

“This is a major manufacturing project and a huge win for our region,” JAXUSA Partnership President Aundra Wallace said in the release.

“These are sought-after, high-wage job opportunities in our community and we appreciate Stellar Energy continuing to innovate and invest in their hometown.”

Stellar Energy says it is an industry leader in the design, construction, fabrication, installation, operations and maintenance and servicing of a range of energy systems that can enhance energy performance.

While the release did not identify the location, the Daily Record reported that Jacksonville real estate market reports show Stellar Energy leased the former GE Oil & Gas and Baker Hughes Co. manufacturing facility at 12970 Normandy Blvd. in AllianceFlorida at Cecil Commerce Center in West Jacksonville.

The 510,433-square-foot center, built in 2014, is available with the impending closure of Baker Hughes, which announced in May it is closing the plant this year. 

Stellar Energy had not responded to requests for comment.

General Electric Co. opened the plant in 2015 and merged its oil and gas division with Baker Hughes in 2017. GE retained a majority stake in Baker Hughes after the merger but it sold off its stake beginning in 2020.

On Oct. 24, 2023, Jacksonville City Council unanimously approved a Recapture Enhanced Value Grant up to $1.5 million for the unidentified Project Orion.

According to Resolution 2023-0715, the code-named company is an established manufacturer of mechanical equipment in Jacksonville and “operates a state of the art manufacturing operation which designs, engineers and delivers modular equipment to aid power suppliers.”

The company seeks to continue operations in its current location and increase production of its product at a new location.

With the grant, the company will expand into an existing building in West Jacksonville with a capital investment of $28.8 million, which includes $8.8 million in equipment purchases.

Completion of improvements will be no later than Dec. 31, 2027.

The expansion would retain 175 jobs and add 250 jobs to its current operation with an additional annual payroll of more than $12.5 million, excluding benefits, by Dec. 31, 2028, under the terms of the REV grant agreement.

Stellar Energy owns and operates a manufacturing facility at 989 Imeson Park Blvd. in North Jacksonville. Property records show Star Fabricators LLC, part of Stellar Energy, owns the almost 19.7-acre site. 

Star Fabricators LLC bought the property in 2003 and developed two buildings totaling almost 96,000 square feet in 2004, property records show.

Stellar Energy says it uses 115,000 square feet of manufacturing space and that the facility features the latest technology, equipment and tools, “enabling us to completely fabricate entire systems, modular systems, partial structures, piping and skids.”

Stellar Energy also is relocating its headquarters within Jacksonville.

The website shows it already is based at the new offices at 1776 American Heritage Life Drive in South Jacksonville. It had been based at 3015 Hartley Road in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville.



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