UPDATED: 2 Wind Industry Firms Bound for Little Rock to Employ 830

by Amy Riggin  on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008 4:20 pm  

Polymarin Composites, an international company that makes rotor blades for the wind industry and a wholly owned subsidiary of Emergya Wind Technologies, on Wednesday announced it will put a new manufacturing facility in Little Rock to initially employ 630

Polymarin Composites, an international company that makes rotor blades for the wind industry and a wholly owned subsidiary of Emergya Wind Technologies, on Wednesday announced it will put a new manufacturing facility in Little Rock to initially employ 630 people.

The company will move into the former Levi Building on I-530, a decision lauded by Little Rock Vice Mayor Stacy Hurst.

"It is even more beneficial because these projects will go into an existing facility that has been sitting empty and unused," she said.

Officials from Polymarin, founded in the Netherlands more than 20 years ago, said the company will invest $16 million in the facility. The company aims to employ 630 people at an average wage of $15 an hour within four years.

Also, Wind Water Technology, a supplier to Emergya, said it will put an operation in the same facility and employ 200 people, also making about $15 an hour.

Emergya Wind Technologies is the parent company of Polymarin and specializes in making of direct drive, or gearless, wind turbines. EWT, founded in the Netherlands in 2004, delivers wind farms on a turn-key basis around the world.

"EWT, WWT and Polymarin have selected Arkansas and Little Rock as our bases for production," EWT CEO Gerry van der Sluijs told a crowd of government and business leaders gathered at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. "You were the best that we could find in the whole of the U.S. ... We are very much impressed by what we have seen so far."

Van der Sluijs said the company will continue to work with local and state agencies to find qualified employees to fill the job. A company spokesperson confirmed that EWT has already begun hiring and expects to begin operations in early 2009.

EWT oversees activities in more than 20 countries. Van der Sluijs said the company is also establishing a plant in China through a joint venture.

"Today [EWT] has an order pipeline representing more than 2,000 megawatts that will be delivered worldwide," he said. "We have budgeted a substantial amount of money that we will invest here to supply the U.S. market."

Van der Sluijs said he is hopeful that the Little Rock plant will expand as demand increases.

"Our plans are ambitious but realistic at the same time," he said.

 

 

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