Local firm reviewing possible U.S. partnership with Slovenian LED company

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A Washington County developer may be interested in partnering with a Slovenian firm looking to establish an American base for its LED lighting business, perhaps in Pittsburgh.

Representatives for Millcraft Investments met with Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto today to discuss their interest in perhaps teaming with Grah Lighting, one of Europe’s largest LED manufacturers.

Millcraft plans to travel to Slovenia next week to meet with Robert Grah, the head of the firm.

Lucas Piatt, Millcraft president, said after the meeting with Mr. Peduto that discussions are “very, very preliminary.”

“We love the technology and the sustainable nature of the project,” he said.

Millcraft also may be interested in purchasing the LED lighting technology and deploying it in Pittsburgh and the region as another option, Mr. Piatt said.

Mr. Grah is looking to create an American base for his company and manufacturing facility and has narrowed the list to a handful of cities, including Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Denver. He visited Pittsburgh for a second time in November and scouted locations in the Strip District, Hazelwood and Mount Washington.

He was brought to the city by Mr. Peduto, who has been trying to entice him to build his North American headquarters here. As a councilman, Me. Peduto traveled to the company’s Slovenian headquarters.

The mayor said Mr. Grah is looking for a local partner if he is to headquarter his company in Pittsburgh and build an assembly and eventual manufacturing plant here.

He said Millcraft chairman Jack Piatt has a background in manufacturing steel and has strong connections in European business markets.

“Knowing both men, I think there’s a really good opportunity for them to get together,” Mr. Peduto said.

While there’s competition with other cities for the plant, “I have to feel with having a partner like Jack Piatt and Millcraft Industries and the commitment of the city government to see this through that we have to be considered at the front of the pack now.”

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1260.

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