Whirlpool Upping its Refrigerator Production

Whirlpool will begin producing premium refrigerators out of its Ottawa, Ohio, freezer factory within the next two years.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

  • Whirlpool adding refrigerator production to freezer factory
  • A $65 million investment in new capacity
  • Tapping into growing demand for built-in fridges

Whirlpool plans to plow $65 million into its Ottawa, Ohio, freezer factory to add built-in and other high-end refrigerators to the production line.

The multi-year investment is part of what the manufacturer describes as an ongoing effort to position the plant as its premium refrigeration factory in North America.

The expenditure will expand capacity at the former W.C. Wood freezer facility in anticipation of expected growth in the built-in refrigerator category. The expansion of the plant’s existing footprint will begin in mid-2022, with the factory reaching full production the following year.

“We’re excited about this investment in the future of the Ottawa operations and in our people,” said Don Metzelaar, Whirlpool’s VP of Integrated Supply Chain and Quality. “This is a testament to our skilled workforce, and will unlock our potential to bring the newest and best refrigeration innovation to our customers who count on us to improve their lives at home.”

The capital infusion will also create more than 100 jobs for the Midwest factory town.

Whirlpool acquired the plant in a bankruptcy auction in 2009 from OEM freezer supplier W.C. Wood. It currently produces freezers, undercounter ice makers, and hybrid heat pump bases for ventless dryers for the company’s Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Amana, Maytag, Gladiator and JennAir brands.

The project in contingent upon approval of state and local incentives, Whirlpool said.