WEST VALLEY CITY — Petzl announced Wednesday the development of a new Utah-based manufacturing facility on Decker Lake Drive that will serve as the company's U.S. headquarters.

Petzl, which designs and manufactures tools to help people operate safely in vertical or dark environments, will invest more than $20 million in the company's new North American headquarters, according to a news release.

The company plans to construct an 80,000-square-foot facility and initially hire 50 employees, with the possibility to expand to 70 workers. The state-of-the-art facility will include 24,000 square feet for office space, 40,000 square feet for warehouse space and a 15,000 square foot training area, as well as a 60-foot indoor structure for product testing, climber training and rope-access professionals.

“We're thrilled to be moving our North American headquarters to West Valley City,” said Nazz Kurth, president of Petzl America. “This central location is especially important now that our new training facilities will be drawing a steady stream of visitors from all over North and South America.”

Established in 1975 in Crolles, France, by Fernand Petzl, the company's early rope ascender designs for caving and alpinism has continually expanded its product line to include headlamps, carabiners, helmets, ropes, harnesses and ice climbing equipment.

Petzl products are widely used by climbers, cavers and canyoneers, as well as arborists, industrial rope-access professionals and public safety professionals.

Jasen Lee, Twitter: JasenLee1