Beckmann Volmer, a German manufacturer of major steel components for wind turbines, broke ground on a new facility in Osceola Tuesday.
The $12 million facility will employ about 300 people. The firm's Osceola operations serve as a direct supplier to Nordex, which has a manufacturing facility in Jonesboro.
In December, the city of Osceola approved a $2 million bond for Beckmann Volmer to construct its initial, 60,000-SF manufacturing facility.
"I see this as a beginning of a long-lasting relationship with the city of Osceola, the State of Arkansas, and the whole United States," said Bernd Volmer, managing director and co-owner of Beckmann Volmer, in a news release. "Arkansas is a leader in wind energy manufacturing, and we hope that our presence and success will persuade many more manufacturing companies to follow."
At the company's initial announcement in 2010, Beckmann Volmer officials said they will consider an additional $7.5 million investment and 200 more employees after the initial investment and hiring of the first 300 employees is complete.
"We welcome Beckmann Volmer to Arkansas as our state continues building its stature in the wind-energy sector," Gov. Mike Beebe, who joined local officials at the groundbreaking, said in the release. "Beckmann Volmer is a world leader in a field that holds great potential for continuing to provide high-paying jobs to Arkansans, and we believe they are a perfect fit for northeast Arkansas."
Employees at the facility in Osceola will produce turbine main frames, the structural backbone of the turbine. The company said it chose Osceola because of the area's dedicated workforce, transportation costs, and pro-business environment.