Online Features Archives
Gov. Nikki Haley, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Lowcountry Economic Alliance have announced that Be Green Packaging LLC will locate its new manufacturing and distribution facility in Jasper County. The company plans to invest at least $7.3 million and expects to generate at least 175 new jobs over the next five years, with the potential of more jobs and investment added during that time. “What makes this great is that we said we weren’t going to just focus our economic development and job creation efforts on the cities but also the rural areas that need it the most. Be Green Packaging’s decision to invest more than $7.3 million and create 175 new jobs in our state is exciting news. We’re working every day to make our state the most competitive in the country for business development so that we will continue to see investments like this one,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “…The people of this state have the heritage, backgrounds and experience that will provide our company with the skills and resources for producing products made from sustainable plant fibers. The local agricultural community will benefit from Be Green as the crops and byproducts they grow in this region will be used as feedstock in our packaging material,” said Ron Blitzer, co-founder and CEO of Be Green Packaging.
Google is investing $168 million in what it says will be the world’s tallest solar power tower. The internet giant is funding BrightSource Energy’s solar farm in the Mojave desert, which employs an Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System to produce solar energy by utilizing fields of heliostats to concentrate the sun’s rays. The concentrated rays are directed towards the top of a tower where a receiver converts the rays into steam that powers a traditional turbine and generator to make electricity. The Ivanpah Power Tower will reach approximately 450 feet tall and will use 173,000 heliostats, each with two mirrors. By the time the plant is up and running in 2013, it will be producing 392 MW of solar energy. The Ivanpah announcement followed Google’s statement last week that it will invest $5 million towards a solar photovoltaic farm in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany.
Leading oilfield service provider Halliburton plans to build a $65-million manufacturing unit in Lafayette, LA. The 200,000-square-foot project is expected to start by July 2011. The facility will manufacture complex components for oilfield service activities and is expected to generate employment for about 150 people. According to Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the new plant will likely contribute approximately $16.3 million in new, state tax revenue and almost $4.4 million in new, local tax revenue over the next 10 years. LED has extended its support to Halliburton through a customized incentive package, a performance-based grant for site acquisition, infrastructure from the Louisiana Rapid Response Fund and customized workforce solutions from Louisiana FastStart. Halliburton also enjoys a rebate on new payroll expenses and certain sales taxes from the Quality Jobs Program as well as property tax abatement for materials utilized in new manufacturing from the Industrial Tax Exemption Program
General Electric Co. has announced that it will spend $600 million to build the largest solar panel factory in the United States, a facility that will produce thin-film panels. GE also announced that testing by a government laboratory showed that its panels set an efficiency record for this type of thin film panel, made from the elements cadmium and tellurium. “It’s demonstrated to be the cost leader in the marketplace and we think we can push costs lower, and faster,” said Vic Abate, vice president for GE’s renewable energy business. The company did not say where the factory would be built. Abate said it would eventually employ 400 people and be producing panels by 2013. The plant would have the capacity to build 400 megawatts worth of panels per year, enough to power about 80,000 homes. GE will be going head to head with the world’s largest solar panel maker, First Solar Inc., in the burgeoning competition for thin-film panels. By the end of this year, First Solar is expected to be manufacturing 2,300 MW of capacity. Analysts say GE’s size, manufacturing experience, and ability to invest heavily in technology and to finance projects is sure to eventually pressure First Solar and other solar makers. “There’s no way to not look at this as a severe competitive threat,” said Aaron Chew, an analyst at Hapoalim Securities in New York. Several large Korean companies – Samsung, Hyundai Heavy Industries, LG Display, and LG Electronics – have also indicated they plan to invest in solar. When complete, the factory will highlight an expected $600 million plus investment made by GE in solar technology and commercialization and will be complemented by the recently announced acquisition of power conversion company Converteam. In addition, GE has completed the acquisition of PrimeStar Solar, Inc., a thin film solar technology company in which GE has held a majority equity stake since 2008. Photovoltaic solar is the next step in growing GE’s renewable energy portfolio and is part of the company’s “ecomagination” commitment to drive clean energy technology through innovation and R&D investment. “Over the last decade, through technology investment, GE has become one of the world’s major wind turbine manufacturers, and our investment in high-tech solar products will help us continue to grow our position in the renewable energy industry,” said Victor Abate, vice president of GE’s renewable energy business. “We are addressing the biggest barrier for the mainstream adoption of solar technology—cost—and the NREL certification proves that we are on track to deliver the most affordable solutions […]
Alpina Foods plans to build a 28,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Genesee County Economic Development Center’s (GCEDC) Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. The Colombian company told El Tiempo, a Spanish-language media outlet, that construction of its Batavia plant would begin this August with scheduled completion in May 2012. The $15 million project is expected to create 50 new jobs. Alpina makes specialty yogurt along with milk, baby food, desserts, cheeses, creams and butter. The company told media in Colombia that it could receive incentives from various state agencies in New York, including the Empire State Development Corporation, the Department of Labor and the Community Renewal office. GCEDC officials would not comment on the announcement. Alpina said Batavia was chosen because of its proximity to milk supply and markets, and because of state incentives. The Batavia project would make Alpina the first multinational food company founded in Colombia. “Alpina is a symbol of pride not only to Colombians but to the entire Andean region,” company president Julian Jaramillo told El Tiempo.
80/20 Inc.—a designer and producer of modular extruded aluminum framing for industrial and home-hobby applications—plans to expand its operations in Columbia City, Indiana, about 125 miles northeast of Indianapolis. According to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IEDC), the company will spend upwards of $9.4 million to construct more than 90,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space. The expansion is expected to create up to 110 jobs by 2014. The IEDC offered 80/20 Inc. up to $500,000 in performance-based tax credits and $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. In addition, the Whitley County Council will consider further property tax abatement at the request of the Whitley County Economic Development Corporation. Founded in 1989, 80/20 Inc.’s modular aluminum framing components, known as “The Industrial Erector Set,” are configured for safety enclosures, workstations, CNC equipment and exhibits, among other uses. The company currently employs more than 250 associates in the city and already expanded manufacturing and distribution capabilities at the site in 2008 with a $5 million investment and 40 new jobs. “80/20 Inc. continues to prove that Indiana is a place where businesses can grow and prosper,” said Governor Mitch Daniels. “We look forward to this company’s next growth announcement as each one means more new opportunities for Northeast Indiana workers.” “Growth in demand for modular framing products has allowed us to expand our operations from a 65,000 square-foot facility in 1996 to over 135,000 square feet now,” said Don Wood, president and chief executive officer of 80/20 Inc. “We are excited, with the help of the state, to be able to further expand our facility as we continue to enter new markets and enjoy great success.”
A state panel has approved tax incentives for a possible expansion at the General Motors assembly plant in Bowling Green. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved offering $7.5 million in tax breaks if the plant, which makes Corvettes, goes forward with the $131-million project. Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development spokeswoman Mandy Lambert told the Daily News of Bowling Green that the approval “outlines the state’s support for the project, should it happen.” Local GM spokeswoman Andrea Hales said the company is looking at other sites for possible investment and there is no pending announcement. United Auto Workers Local 2164 President Eldon Renaud told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he thinks the project could be the next generation of the Corvette.
Strong business hiring last month brought the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in two years, the U.S. government has reported. The economy gained 216,000 jobs in the month. That’s better than the gain of 180,000 predicted by economists surveyed by CNNMoney, and also a significant improvement over the 194,000 jobs added in February. “Almost two years after the recession officially ended, the labor market appears to finally be picking up,” said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis for The Conference Board. The unemployment rate continued to edge down, dropping to 8.8%, the lowest level since March 2009. The unemployment rate has shed a full percentage point in the last four months, the largest four-month drop since 1984.
In an age of bottled water, it is refreshing to remember that the best-tasting water in America still can be found flowing out of the taps of every kitchen sink in New York City. The water system for the nation’s largest city is an immense natural bounty that has been harvested for nearly a century by one of the greatest feats in the history of human engineering. Originating in pristine upstate reservoirs, the City’s water is naturally filtered by granite outcroppings left by glaciers eons ago, enhancing its purity with a sweet, mineral aftertaste. As any kid who ever interrupted a stickball game to race inside for a cool drink on a hot summer day can tell you, there is no better thirst-quencher on Earth. In 1677, a few years after the Dutch outpost on the tip of lower Manhattan was established, drinking water was distributed to the settlers through hollow logs from a handful of shallow, privately owned wells. In 1776, when the population of New York City reached 22,000, the city’s first reservoir was built on the east side of Broadway between Pearl and White Streets, serviced by wooden mains. In 1830, the system’s water arteries were replaced with 12-inch cast iron pipes. As the City’s population approached its first million, the water became polluted and the supply was inadequate. The City decided to augment the system by impounding water from the Croton River, in what is now Westchester County. In 1842, the Old Croton Aqueduct was placed in service with a capacity of 90 million gallons per day; in the 1870s, several storage reservoirs were built in the City; in 1890, a second aqueduct (New Croton Aqueduct) came on line and the water facilities of the five boroughs were consolidated into the New York City Water System. In 1905, its population still exploding, the City decided to develop the Catskill region as an additional water source. The Ashokan Reservoir and Catskill Aqueduct were completed in 1915, joined by the Schoharie Reservoir and Shandaken Tunnel in 1928. Also in 1928, approval was granted to develop the upper portion of the Rondout watershed and upstate tributaries of the Delaware River. Construction of the Delaware System began in 1937, after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out an attempt by New Jersey to block the project. The Delaware Aqueduct was completed in 1944, Rondout Reservior in 1950, Neversink Reservoir in 1954, Pepacton Reservior in 1955 and Cannonsville Reservoir in 1964. Today, the New York City Water System is served by 19 […]
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and the presidents of the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University today joined with executives from some of the world’s biggest names in manufacturing to officially break ground for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), a unique collaborative research facility in Prince George County, VA that promises to accelerate the transfer of laboratory innovations to manufacturing production lines where they can improve efficiencies, products and profits. “With a turn of the dirt today, Virginia is preparing a new foundation for manufacturing in the Commonwealth and in the nation,” Gov. McDonnell said. “Global dynamics will always influence where products are made, and CCAM’s collaborative, creative approach to advanced manufacturing techniques gives the Commonwealth a leadership role in determining how the world’s most advanced products are made.” The groundbreaking puts in motion construction of a 50,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility. Under its roof, best-in-class manufacturers will collaborate with accomplished faculty and students from Virginia’s top research and teaching institutions to perform advanced manufacturing research in two priority areas: surface engineering and manufacturing systems. When complete next year, the facility will house computational and large-scale production labs, as well as open production space for heavy equipment and surface coating processes, including a thermal spraying machine, a directed vapor deposition machine, integrated data acquisition systems and a thermal conductivity measurements system. “CCAM is a game changer for manufacturing operations in this country and around the world,” said David Lohr, the newly appointed president and executive director of CCAM. “Its collaborative model joins academic research with manufacturing’s drive for competitive advantage and it promises new, valuable innovations faster than ever before.” CCAM is the only collaboration of its kind in North America and it promises its member companies significant benefits. By pooling resources to pursue university research authorized by member companies, CCAM increases the value of the R&D dollar. R&D risks and costs are shared by members – away from live production floors – and research results are shared with all members, allowing them to capitalize on new, breakthrough developments that emerge from CCAM research. In addition to breaking ground for the research facility, CCAM also announced today the founding companies that will anchor the CCAM facility and its initial research operations. They are: · Canon Virginia Inc. – Located in Newport News, Canon Virginia Inc. produces new products using advanced manufacturing methodologies while also serving as a factory service center for repair and refurbishment of Canon cameras, video recorders and office products. (www.cvi.canon.com <http://www.cvi.canon.com> ) · Chromalloy […]