LM Glasfiber on Wednesday officially announced plans to open a new plant at Little Rock that will make fiberglass wind turbine blades.
The Danish company announced plans for the project on its Web site here. A formal announcement is expected to take place at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol.
The company said the plant would begin operations in first quarter 2008 and would employ more than 1,000 within five years. The company did not release financial details of the project, but news reports Wednesday put the price tag of the investment at about $150 million.
Economic development officials have been working to land the plant for quite some time. The state Legislature earlier this year approved a specific incentives measure to provide a major income tax break for a windmill blade manufacturer with the condition that the company commit to a minimum $150 million investment and employ 500 to 1,000 people over time.
The announcement comes weeks after another multimillion project was unveiled for Little Rock, when Welspun released plans to build a $100 million pipe plant near the Little Rock Port Authority.
“We are very pleased to announce our new facility in Little Rock," LM Glasfiber CEO Roland M. Sundén said in a news release. "The Little Rock plant is key to enabling us to serve our growing portfolio of customers in North America. The facility will help secure our customers’ long term blade supply thereby enabling their ambitious growth strategies while also increasing the robustness and visibility of LM Glasfiber’s North American sales."
Sundén said the plant's location in the Port of Little Rock near 1-440 will be ideal to serve its customers in the central United States.
"The site itself offers excellent logistical options, whether by road, rail, air or marine," he said. "And when we considered the kind of amenities that are conducive for LM Glasfiber to attract and retain the people and talent we need, Little Rock was a natural choice for us.”
The plant will be LM Glasfiber’s third North American production facility; doubling the capacity of the existing factories in Grand Forks, N.D., and Gaspé, Quebec. The company said the U.S. is the largest market for new wind projects and the second globally in existing wind project installations.
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