Big deals of the month.
- Boeing has won a $35 billion deal with the U.S. Air Force to build 179 refueling tankers, replacing the Eisenhower-era KC-135s with a military version of the 767 jetliner. Oregon workers stand to benefit, as Boeing works with more than 300 vendors in the state, and 300 jobs will be added to the Gresham operation. The deal is pending appeals from the European Aeronautic Defense and Space company.
- Northwest Natural Gas has announced it would invest $250 million to develop gas fields in Wyoming with the Canadian gas company Encana. The company expected the venture would save ratepayers about $50 million and provide long-term supply for more than 30 years. The Oregon Public Utility Commission must approve the deal, and a hearing was expected by late April.
- The $129 million purchase of Portland's First & Main by a San Diego-based real estate investment trust marked the biggest closing price ever for a downtown building. One week after contracting to buy the building from San Francisco-based Shorenstein Realty Services, American Assets Trust paid $353 per square foot, funded by proceeds from its initial public offering. American Assets will reportedly manage the 364,735-square-foot tower, which is 16 stories.
- The U.S. Department of Energy has finalized a $96.8 million loan guarantee to U.S. Geothermal, based in Boise, for a project in Malheur County. The guarantee, funded by the 2009 stimulus bill, will allow construction of a 23-megawatt geothermal power plant known as Neal Hot Springs. The plant will create about a dozen jobs, with another 150 jobs expected for construction.
- The Arizona-based company ON Semiconductor has announced it will invest in a $30 million upgrade and expansion of its 83-acre Gresham facility. It will increase chip production by more than 45% and enable production of 110-nanometer to 250-nanometer semiconductors.