MORGANTOWN — Seattle-based Pure Watercraft will begin making electric pontoon boats at a revitalized former steel plant in Brooke County in the Northern Panhandle.
Economic Development Secretary Mitch Carmichael made the announcement Wednesday afternoon during the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce 2022 Business Summit at The Greenbrier.
With Pure Watercraft founder and CEO Andy Rebele on the stage with him, Carmichael said, “You could have chosen any place in the world … and you chose West Virginia.”
Pure Watercraft makes a variety of electric-powered boats. Its 80,000-square-foot Brooke plant is situated at Beech Bottom Industrial Park, on the banks of the Ohio River, south of Wellsburg.
Rebele said, “We’re very happy to be here. … I think we can all agree that we want to preserve the outdoors for future generations.” The site is strategically located to receive battery packs for the Pure Pontoon Boat from its investor and collaborator General Motors.
COVID increased the demand for boats, he said, and pontoons are the biggest segment. West Virginia is receptive and business-friendly.
Gov. Jim Justice and other politicians also took the stage to thank Rabele.
Justice dwelt on the progress West Virginia has made in drawing major employers: Nucor, GreenPower, Owens & Minor and more.
“It just goes on and on and on. … People are really coming. … We could not be more excited to bring more and more goodness here,” the governor said.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said she’s excited to know West Virginia will become part of the East Coast boating hub. And Sen. Joe Manchin said, “We do appreciate so much the investment and the attention to West Virginia,” and all-of-the-above energy state.
TWEET David Beard @dbeardtdp