NAGOYA, Japan -- Rinnai will start producing gas-powered tankless water heaters in the U.S., aiming to meet rising American demand for the appliance.
The Japanese manufacturer said Friday that it initially will lease a plant in the state of Georgia and later build its own factory there. Investment will total about $79 million.
Production at the leased plant will begin in April, with plans to hire 50 new workers. Output capacity of 100,000 units a year is expected.
The company intends to spend about $71 million to build the new factory near the leased plant, with construction starting in 2019. The new site would employ about 140, with operations beginning in January 2021, and have an annual capacity of 200,000 units.
Storage-type water heaters are typically used in the U.S., but demand has been rising in recent years for tankless heaters, which are more energy efficient.