November, 2010 Archives
The Missouri Department of Economic Development said Ford Motors has applied for the $150 million, 10-year package of tax credits passed by the Legislature this summer, according to a report from KMBC.com. The application is being viewed by state officials as an indication that Ford has future plans at the Claycomo plant in the Northland. A spokesman for the Department of Economic Development would only confirm they have received the letter of application from Ford. The measure calls for “substantial capital investment in production capacity,” according to a news release from the governor’s office this summer. KMBC’s Micheal Mahoney reported that incentives would be triggered after a company makes a firm commitment and workers are on the job. Since Ford announced it was moving one of the two vehicles made at Claycomo to another plant, there has been concern about the future of the 50-year-old facility and its 4,000 employees. The Ford Hybrid Escape production line is moving to a plant near Louisville, Ky. In September, Ford CEO Alan Mulally came to Kansas City for a speech. He did not make an announcement about Claycomo’s future, but he did praise the plant and its work force. Ford spokeswoman Marcy Evans says Ford has applied to be a “certified manufacturer” who would qualify for the tax break. “It doesn’t signify we have made a commitment for a specific product or future plans,” she told Mahoney. Evans described the application as part of a process. She said getting that certification could take up top six months. A company must make a “substantial capital investment in production capacity” to be eligible for the tax credits. Incentives would be triggered after a company makes a firm commitment and workers are on the job.
Nordex USA has officially opened its flagship wind turbine manufacturing plant in the U.S. in Jonesboro AR. Representing a $40 million investment, the 150,000 square foot plant is one of the most modern production facilities in the wind industry, optimized for lean flow and reduced lead times for customers. It positions Nordex as a domestic manufacturer of the highest caliber in one of the biggest wind energy markets in the world. “There’s no way around it,” said Thomas Richterich, CEO of parent company Nordex SE. “To play in the US wind market, you need a Made-in-the-USA strategy. Our turbines are some of the most powerful and reliable on the global market, and now we can get them to US wind farms quickly and cost-effectively.” Gov. Mike Beebe and Arkansas senior senator Blanche Lincoln joined with state and community leaders for the event, following a tour of the plant. The total planned investment for the site is $100 million, with further manufacturing capacity to be added in a second phase in line with market conditions. The Nordex plant will build nacelles for 2.5 megawatt turbines that belong to Nordex’s new third generation efficiency class – the Gamma generation. Production began earlier this month, and the first assembled nacelle was on display. Nacelles house the engine and other key turbine components and sit high atop the turbine tower. The assembly time for a nacelle is about two weeks, and the Nordex plant has the capacity to produce 300 per year. One Nordex turbine can power about 700 American homes. “Energy is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today, including the United States,” said Ralf Sigrist, President and CEO of Nordex USA. “These turbines will help America secure a new domestic energy supply without compromising national security or the environment.” Since breaking ground on the plant last September, Nordex has hired 54 employees, about 80% locals, including the first production crew. Job functions range from production assembly, process engineering, supply chain management, facilities management, training, quality assurance, safety, administration and management. Nordex plans to grow its ranks to nearly 70 in Jonesboro and 175 nationally by the end of 2010. It has the potential to create a total of 700 jobs in Jonesboro and 1,000 nationally over the next four years, not including indirect jobs created by suppliers and service providers. Earlier this year, steel components manufacturer Beckmann Volmer announced it would build a $10 million factory and employ 500 in neighboring Osceola to supply parts to Nordex. Part of Nordex’s […]