One of the world's leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co., announced on Tuesday that it will invest $45.4 million to expand its operations in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia.

The project will create 174 new jobs over a 48-month period.

 "Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co. was established in Newport News and Hampton in 1970, and in four decades has grown to become the North American headquarters for four operating companies of the globally leading manufacturer, “Governor Bob McDonnell said.

“With this project, the company is making a significant investment in building improvements, machinery and tools and infrastructure to enhance production of the largest mining trucks in the world,” McDonnell added.

The Liebherr family business was established in 1949 by Hans Liebherr. The great success of his first mobile, easy-to-assemble and affordable tower crane was the foundation on which the company flourished. Today Liebherr is not only one of the world's leading manufacturers of construction machinery but is also an acknowledged supplier of technically innovative user-oriented products and services in numerous other fields. The company has now grown into a Group with more than 35,000 employees in more than 130 companies across all continents.

"For the past 40 years Liebherr has established a strong infrastructure in Newport News and Hampton. The area has a wealth of experienced workers and is in close proximity to our supplier and main customer base," said Joachim Janka, president of Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co.

"As a family-owned business, Liebherr benefits from the ability to make countercyclical investments," Janka added. " We invest during unfavorable economic conditions to achieve superior returns in the long run.

We believe in the resilience of the American economy and will be prepared to excel when market conditions improve."

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Newport News, the City of Hampton and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia.

Governor McDonnell approved a $500,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Newport News with the project. Governor McDonnell also approved an $800,000 performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program, an incentive available to existing Virginia companies.

Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment and training activities.