The Department of Commerce has offered an incentives package worth as much as $17.2 million to Network Appliance if the high-tech data storage company picks North Carolina for an expansion program.

The announcement could come as early as Tuesday. The governor’s office announced that Gov. Mike Easley would make an “economic development announcement” at 11 a.m. at the State Capitol.

Wake County officials deliberated specifics of additional incentives that could convince NetApp to expand its operations in Research Triangle Park at a meeting on Monday.

According to N.C. Commerce Secretary Jim Fain, NetApp is also considering Pittsburgh as a possible site for the expansion.

“This is not a done deal,” a Department of Commerce spokesperson said early Monday afternoon before Easley’s office announced the press conference.

A decision by NetApp is expected in the next few days.

NetApp, which employs more than 630 people in RTP, is looking to create as many as 646 additional jobs over four years. NetApp established its RTP operation in 2004, acquiring three unfinished buildings from Cisco Systems.

The incentives approved on Monday by the state economic investment committee includes up to $15.3 million for job creation under the job development investment program plus up to $1.28 million in research and development tax credits and as much as $659,500 in tax credits under a new incentive program known as 3J.

The NetApp jobs would pay average salaries of $94,000.

NetApp received $8.9 million in incentives in 2004 to create 361 jobs, but the company ended up adding more than 600.