by Max Brantley
Two suppliers of goods for the booming wind energy business (booming thanks to significant government subsidies, it's worth noting) announce they will locate in the vacant Levi building on the Pine Bluff Freeway and eventually employ more than 800 at around $15 an hour.
The Little Rock Chamber of Commerce held a press conference to announce that Polymarin Composites, a producer of rotor blades for the wind industry, and Wind Water Technology, will open a manufacturing facility in Little Rock. The companies plan on investing $16 million in the facility and employing a combined 830 people over the next four years. Governor Mike Beebe was on hand, as were Gen. Wesley Clark (who sits on the board of Emergya Wind Technologies, Polymarin’s parent company) and Rep. Vic Snyder. Governor Beebe said he was proud of Gen. Clark’s efforts on behalf of his home state to encourage Polymarin to come to Arkansas. Gen. Clark said that Arkansas was fortunate to be at the center of the wind technology industry.
STATE NEWS RELEASE
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (October 8, 2008) - Polymarin Composites, an international developer and manufacturer of high performance rotor blades for the wind industry and a 100% subsidiary of Emergya Wind Technologies, today announced it will locate a new manufacturing facility in Little Rock. The company will move into the former Levi Building on I-530.
Polymarin will invest $16 million in the facility, and aims to employ 630 people at an average wage of $15.00 an hour within four years.
In addition, Wind Water Technology (WWT), a supplier to EWT, will locate in the same facility. WWT, which builds nacelles for the blades to facilitate movement, will invest $4 million in equipment and will employ 200 people at an average wage of $15.00 within four years.
Together, Polymarin and WWT will employ approximately 830 people.
Emergya Wind Technologies (EWT) is the parent company of Polymarin. EWT was started in the Netherlands in 2004. The company specializes in the development and manufacturing of advanced high-quality direct drive (gearless) wind turbines and delivers wind farms on a full turn-key basis around the world. The company oversees activities in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., China, Turkey and the Netherlands.
"Our new Little Rock facility will enable us to bring our expertise, products and services to North America. We could not be happier with the location and are excited about the resources and personnel that Arkansas has to offer." says CEO of EWT Gerry van der Sluijs.
Gen. Wesley Clark stated "I am happy that my home state of Arkansas exceeded our requirements and expectations during site selection. In addition to the prime location, our North American site will provide us with significant opportunities for EWT, to further expand its gearless DIRECTWIND energy solutions."
"Arkansas is rapidly becoming a center for the wind-energy industry," Governor Mike Beebe said. "Being able to combine new job opportunities with the advancement of sustainable energy is great news both for our economy and our State's future. We welcome Polymarin and WWT to Arkansas and look forward to their success."
"This outstanding announcement is evidence that Little Rock has jumped into the 21st Century with both feet," said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. "Providing quality jobs while developing a reputation as a leader in sustainability is why Little Rock is quickly becoming the next great American city in the South."
Polymarin's and Wind Water Technology's concurrent announcements, combined with last year's from LM Glasfiber, have positioned Little Rock and the region as a major player in advanced manufacturing for the wind energy industry," said Elizabeth Small, chairman of the board of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. "The companies' combined $20 million capital investment also puts the region over $1 billion in new capital investment since February of 2005."
Polymarin Composites (PMC) is an international developer and manufacturer of high performance structural products made of reinforced composite materials.
The company specializes in the design, development, engineering and manufacturing of high performance rotor blades for the wind and tidal turbine industry. PMC targets the market segment for tailored special products developed and supplied in close cooperation with the wind turbine manufacturer.
PMC aims to be a top player among the rotor blade suppliers and to become the preferred partner for companies serving the global wind turbine industry with rotor blade designs that are leading in performance and cost effectiveness.
The development of the PMC rotor blades is concentrated in the Netherlands whereas series blade manufacturing is organized through production partners in various regions worldwide, close to regions where wind energy projects are being established.
The company's headquarters and Center of Competence; dedicated to the marketing, design, engineering and development, prototyping, mould production and certification of rotor blades for the wind and tidal turbine industry, is located in Hoorn, the Netherlands.
Internationally, PMC is establishing a global network of supply capacities. Currently the company has plants in Hoorn and Eemshaven, the Netherlands and new Centers of Capacities are being established in Little Rock, Arkansas and Xinghe, Inner Mongolia China.