Daily News Archives

DOE Backs Oregon Wind Project with $1.3B Loan

DOE Backs Oregon Wind Project with $1.3B Loan

A $1.3 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy helps back what will be one of the world’s largest wind farms, the U.S. Energy Secretary has confirmed. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the loan would finance the construction of the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind farm in Oregon. Chu said investing in renewable energy projects like the Oregon wind farm would give the United States an advantage in a clean energy economy. “By leveraging our nation’s vast natural resources, we can help provide alternative sources of energy and stimulate economic growth and job creation,” he said in a statement. The wind farm will be situated on 32,000 acres south of the Columbia River. More than 330 wind turbines will spin to generate 845 megawatts of electricity. The wind farm will avoid more than 1.2 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is the same as pulling 200,000 cars off the road, the Energy Department said. “When it is completed, Shepherds Flat will be one of the largest windmill farms in the world and will put Oregon on the map as a leader in green energy,” said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. The project will sell 100 percent of the power from the wind farm to utility Southern California Edison under a 20-year contract. Neither the Energy Department nor the project company, Caithness Development, LLC, offered a timeline for the project in their announcements.


Ford Moving Escape Production from KC to Louisville, KY

Ford Moving Escape Production from KC to Louisville, KY

Ford Motor Co. has announced it will produce the next generation of its Escape SUV in Louisville, KY, investing $600 million in its Louisville Assembly Plant, according to a report in Kansas City Business Journal. The move is a setback for Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, MO, which now produces the midsized SUV. The loss of the Escape, without another line to take its place, could affect half of the local plant’s 3,700 employees. However, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans told Business Journal that Ford doesn’t plan to abandon Kansas City. “We will be building a new product in Kansas City, but it’s too early for us to say what that product will be,” Evans said. David Kerr, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, said he remains “extremely optimistic” about the KC plant’s future. Ford said its investment in the Louisville Assembly Plant will make it the company’s most flexible, high-volume plant in the world. Its initial product will be the next-generation Ford Escape, and the plant will complete its transformation in time to restart production in 2011, the company said. Retooling and construction will begin in mid-December. Ford plans to hire an additional 1,800 employees and add an extra shift of production in Louisville. “The 1,800 additional jobs are expected to be filled through a combination of transferring employees from other facilities, re-activating workers on indefinite layoff at the time of launch and hiring new workers,” the company said in the release. In June 2010, the United Auto Workers posted an online newsletter voicing its concern that the Missouri General Assembly killed the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act in May because Ford was planning to move Escape production to Louisville. Gov. Jay Nixon called the General Assembly into special sections and passed the Jobs Act, which included as much as $100 million for Ford if it would reinvest in the Kansas City Assembly Plant and maintain or add jobs there. Ford started an application for the Jobs Act funds in November, but indicated that its application did not signify a commitment to invest in the plant, but rather the company wanted to make certain that it is eligible to receive tax credits for a future investment.


Klein Tools Plans $76-Million TX Tech Center

Klein Tools Plans $76-Million TX Tech Center

Chicago-based Klein Tools Inc. will invest $76 million into developing an advanced manufacturing technology center in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The new facility will create 585 jobs in Mansfield, TX and have a projected net economic impact $4.5 billion to the state for the first 10 years of the center’s operation. Klein received $2.8 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, which bases its awards on job creation and the recipient’s ability to meet employment goals. The 153-year-old company will focus on development of cutting edge manufacturing processes. Klein produces professional hand tools and is a leader in areas such as forging, automation and machining and grinding.


Turning Six Feet of Mud Into Gold

  Twenty million years ago, the oceans covered the area now known as Panama, flowing through a large gap in the continents of North and South America. Beneath the surface, two plates of the Earth’s crust were slowly colliding with each other, forcing the Pacific plate to slide under the Caribbean plate. The pressure and heat produced by this collision spawned underwater volcanoes. About 15 million years ago, some of these volcanoes grew tall enough to break the surface, forming a chain of islands. The islands gradually filled out as the two tectonic plates pushed up the sea floor, and, about three million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama emerged from the sea, a narrow strip of land dividing the two great oceans. According to scientists, the formation of the Isthmus of Panama was one of the most important geologic events on Earth in the past 60 million years, with great impact on the planet’s climate and environment. The sliver of land re-routed the currents of the great oceans, creating the Gulf Stream and warming the denizens of northwestern Europe. Biodiversity on the continents increased exponentially, as animals were able to migrate on land to all corners of the world. Nobody complained about this magnificently unfolding ecosystem until the guys with boats arrived. In the late 19th century, global commerce was carried on ships. Because there was no easy way to get from the Pacific to the Atlantic and vice versa, these ships had to travel thousands of miles out of their way to reach their destinations, through treacherous waters at the bottom of South America near Antarctica. This nagging problem was solved by one of the greatest feats in the history of human engineering, with a big assist from a political force of nature named Theodore Roosevelt. On August 14, 1914, the Panama Canal was completed, opening a 48-mile waterway between the two oceans and revolutionizing international commerce. Over the past century, the waterway cutting through the Isthmus has been a reliable and indispensable artery for the world’s goods. But, like all arteries, it became clogged as traffic–and, more importantly, the size of ships–increased. Today, this problem is being addressed with a $5.25-billion expansion of the Panama Canal that is scheduled to be completed on the Canal’s 100th anniversary in August 2014. The expansion will permit large ships from Asia to travel directly to East Coast destinations instead of offloading their goods on the West Coast and shipping them across the country by rail and road. The impending unveiling […]


Sports Science Lab Unveiled in Kentucky

Sports Science Lab Unveiled in Kentucky

HFL Sport Science Inc. has cut the ribbon on a new laboratory in Lexington, KY that will provide drug surveillance, doping control and research to equine and other sports industries. The lab, which represents a more than $4 million investment, will create 48 new jobs, including 25 high-tech positions, paying an average salary of over $47,000, exclusive of benefits. “HFL is establishing a world-class bioanalytical laboratory to deliver doping control and associated research for horseracing in Kentucky and nationwide,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Their testing services for various sport science activities, such as checking horse feed and sport supplements for banned substances, will help ensure the equine industry remains healthy, while also helping preserve and create high-paying, high-tech jobs for Kentucky residents.” In March 2010, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission selected HFL to provide drug testing for Kentucky race tracks. The lab will begin processing samples in February 2011.  In addition to developing laboratory screening tests for fitness and nutritional health, HFL plans to provide services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. The company also anticipates research collaborations with the University of Kentucky, which will improve the basic understanding of issues relating to doping control in equine, canine and human sports. “We at HFL are truly delighted to be partnering with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in creating a world class Racing Chemistry Laboratory in Lexington,” said Dr. David Hall, CEO of HFL Sport Science Ltd in the United Kingdom, and HFL Sport Science Inc. in Kentucky. “We anticipate that our partnership and research-led approach will quickly bring benefits to racing in Kentucky, and are eager to investigate the benefits of forging the transatlantic link with racing in the United Kingdom. It must be noted that the support that we have received from the Cabinet for Economic Development, Commerce Lexington and the wider community has been tremendous, making the start up in Lexington a remarkably smooth process.” HFL’s parent company, HFL Sport Science Ltd, is based in Fordham, near Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, and has more than 40 years of continuous experience in the science of sports doping control. This includes experience testing within the framework of the World Anti-Doping Agency and testing human and animal food supplements for substances prohibited in sports.  The company also delivers both operational screening services and innovative research into prohibited substance detection. “This announcement once again illustrates the power of the horse industry and of University of Kentucky brainpower to attract good jobs to Lexington,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry. “After all, we […]


Overstock.com Expands in Utah

Overstock.com Expands in Utah

Utah-based Internet retailer Overstock.com Inc. says it plans to double its software engineering staff by hiring 150 people. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development says the new jobs will bring Overstock a tax credit worth more than $1 million over 10 years. Overstock says it will hire most of the Java software engineers in the next 12 months. Provo Mayor John R. Curtis says he’s delighted Overstock chose his city to expand the software operation. Overstock and officials made the announcement Thursday.


Chicken Processing Plant Planned for Bastrop, LA

Chicken Processing Plant Planned for Bastrop, LA

A Mississippi-based chicken processing company plans to open a plant in Bastrop, LA that will create 317 jobs. Hazlehurst-based DG Foods Ltd. said it will spend $9.7 million for the plant, the second recent chicken processing project to receive state economic incentives to operate in northeastern Louisiana. DG Foods plans to renovate an 88,000-square-foot building with full operations beginning in July 2011. The project will provide a needed boost to Morehouse Parish following the 2008 closure of an International Paper mill that had been the parish’s largest employer with 550 jobs, Kay King, head of the parish’s economic development agency, told Bloomberg News. DG Foods is receiving a $700,000 state loan for the building and a forgivable $2.85 million loan for building improvements and is eligible for state industrial tax exemptions and work force training programs. State officials said both loans are based on the company following through on its plan and reaching hiring goals. The city of Bastrop has committed to infrastructure improvements and sewer upgrades. Earlier this year, DG Foods announced a $2.78 million expansion of its plant south of Jackson, Miss., adding 200 jobs to a payroll of 350 employees with an incentive package from state and local governments. The company was founded in 2004 by three veteran poultry executives and currently processes about 250 million tons annually.


Bosch Invests $125 Million in South Carolina Plant

Bosch Invests $125 Million in South Carolina Plant

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Dorchester County and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance today joined Robert Bosch LLC, a leading automotive supplier in North America, to announce the company’s plans to expand its Dorchester County operations. Over the next five years, Bosch will invest approximately $125 million in the company’s manufacturing facility in Dorchester County and create approximately 300 new jobs. “We are very pleased to announce this investment which is designed to help us continue to strengthen our business at our plant in Dorchester County,” said Gene Oswalt, vice president and commercial plant manager, Robert Bosch LLC. “Working with our colleagues from the state, the county and the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, we have been able to develop a plan through which we can invest in our facility and associates, strengthen our business and support Bosch’s global focus on environmental sustainability.” Bosch will add personnel and equipment to support production of its latest passenger car diesel and gasoline fuel injectors, and next generation anti-lock brake and electronic stability control systems for the North American automotive market. The company expects to begin creating new jobs based on this investment beginning in the second half of 2011. Additionally, as part of the company’s expansion, Dorchester County plans to provide reclaimed water for the company’s manufacturing processes. This initiative aligns with Bosch’s commitment to environmental sustainability while reducing the company’s utility costs and increasing its competitiveness. This sustainable alternative, which will be developed with the assistance of a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) and matching funds from Dorchester County, will conserve 80,000 gallons of wastewater per day. The EDA grant is currently pending final approval. “Today’s announcement is another positive sign that our efforts to improve the state’s business climate are paying dividends. This announcement adds to the growth we have witnessed in the manufacturing sector over the past several months. In fact, South Carolina has added 4,500 manufacturing jobs over the past seven months and Bosch’s job creation adds to this encouraging trend in our state. As well, Bosch’s expansion serves as an indication that our state’s automotive industry continues to present opportunity. The company is one with a long history in our state, but its decision to expand and create jobs here reiterates Bosch’s confidence in South Carolina’s workforce and its ability to meet the demands of a growing international corporation,” said Gov. Mark Sanford. “Bosch is a world-class company, and its Dorchester County facility has been an […]


Xerox Grows in Webster, NY

Xerox Grows in Webster, NY

Xerox Corp. will invest $25 million in the coming year to expand its EA Toner plant to handle the increasing worldwide need for chemically grown toner used in Xerox and production presses. The project will increase Xerox’s manufacturing capacity of EA Toner by 50 percent at the company’s plant in Webster, NY. The current emulsion aggregation (EA) Toner opened in 2007 and features more than 20 miles of pipe and stainless steel tanks that produce billions of micron-sized toner particles. Originally constructed for $60 million, Xerox’s total capital investment in the toner plant will now reach nearly $100 million.  Construction to expand the plant will begin this month and should be completed by the end of 2011.  The expansion will add 10 engineers and union technicians to the current workforce of about 75. Developed by Xerox and protected by more than 300 patents, EA toner produces sharper images using less toner per page. Since EA toner was first introduced, Xerox and Fuji Xerox have designed more than 50 office and production printing products that use EA toner.  The current plant produces EA toner for use in Xerox products around the globe. “As one of the world’s largest producers of toner, we have looked at several alternatives on how and where to expand our manufacturing capacity,” said Wim Appelo, president of the Xerox Global Business and Services Group.  “We chose to upgrade our existing facility not only because it makes the most economic sense but also because we benefit from the strong local technological expertise and the opportunity to invest in job growth in the U.S.” The five-story, 100,000 square-foot plant located near Rochester, NY was originally designed for energy efficiency, and uses more than 4,000 sensors that track information about temperature, humidity, air flow and other variables. Unlike traditional toner, which is created by physically grinding composite polymeric materials to micron-sized particles, EA toner is chemically grown–enabling the size, shape and structure of the particles to be precisely controlled. This environmentally-responsible Xerox-developed technology leads to improved print quality, less toner usage, less toner waste and less energy required for manufacturing and for printing.


Calfrac Expands in Fayette County, PA

Calfrac Expands in Fayette County, PA

Calfrac Well Services Corp. is expanding its Marcellus Shale extraction infrastructure with plans to hire 200. Calfrac plans to construct an office and shop building, a warehouse and laboratory building, and a wash bay on a 42-acre site in the Fayette Business Park. Headquartered in Calgary, AB Canada, Calfrac is a leading provider of fracturing, coiled tubing and cementing services for the global oil and natural gas industry. “We are pleased that Calfrac has chosen to make this new investment in Fayette County. The combination of KOZ designation, rail accessibility and the near completion of turnpike 43 to I-68 helped tremendously in this most important attraction,” said Mike Krajovic, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.