Nordex USA Inc., a manufacturer of utility-scale wind turbines, held a ground-breaking celebration at the construction site of its $100 million manufacturing facility in Jonesboro, Ark., which will produce the 2.5 MW N90 and N100 wind turbines.
At the event, management presented its vision for a renewable energy future, as well as details on plans to hire 700 people by 2014. Leaders from government, business and the community attended the celebration, expressing hope for the revitalization of American manufacturing and the birth of a new industry in Arkansas.
‘We are positioning ourselves for the market surge around the corner,’ says Ralf Sigrist, president and CEO of Nordex USA, based in Chicago. ‘We are absolutely confident that the U.S. wind market will be the biggest in the world.’
The first phase of construction began at the 187-acre site in Craighead Technology Park in late July. The $40 million nacelle assembly plant will have 115,000 square feet of production space, 10,000 square feet for a training academy and 35,000 square feet of office space. The $60 million rotor-blade facility is then expected to begin production in late 2012.
Nordex USA expects to produce up to 300 wind turbines annually by 2014 at the new plant, according to the company. Hiring will span about four years. Nordex plans to locally employ close to 100 people by the end of 2010, as it begins ramping up nacelle assembly, in the areas of operations, office support, supply management, production engineering and quality assurance.
Recruiting will begin in January, followed by hiring in the spring. The nacelle workforce will gradually reach up to 240 people as the plant approaches full capacity over the next two-and-a-half years. Recruiting and hiring will follow a similar pattern for the rotor-blade facility, which will be built in phase two of the construction.
Besides direct hires, Nordex is also creating jobs through the contracting of services. For example, Nordex has contracted with the construction firm, H&M Co. Inc. of Jackson, Tenn., which is dedicating between 250 and 300 workers to the construction project.
SOURCE: Nordex USA