SOUTH HAVEN (WWJ/AP) – A southwestern Michigan company is tripling the size of its facilities following a new $10.4 million contract with the U.S. Army.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports South Haven-based Riveer Environmental got a contract to build 50 vehicle-washing systems that soldiers will use to power-wash everything from Jeeps and  Humvees to Abrams tanks.

John Goodell, head of engineering and design, told the Gazette that the systems for the Army are 18 feet wide by 40 feet long and designed to accommodate vehicles up to 80 tons.

Riveer Environmental said the Army will use the washing systems to thoroughly clean military vehicles before they are returned to the United States in order to avoid the introduction of contaminants and invasive species of plants, animals or insects.

The systems are to be built this year and are expected to be used in Afghanistan. The company landed the Army contract in late February.

The business broke ground this week on a $1.1 million expansion in South Haven, to grow from about 12,000 square feet to about 40,000 square feet.

The company says new work means the addition of 10 jobs. That’s a significant jump for a company that currently employs less than 30 people.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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