Jonesboro, Ark., October 29, 2010 — Nordex USA celebrated the official opening of its flagship wind turbine manufacturing plant in the U.S.
Representing a $40 million investment, the 150,000 square foot plant is one of the most modern production facilities in the wind industry, optimized for lean flow and reduced lead times for customers.
The total planned investment for the site is $100 million, with further manufacturing capacity to be added in a second phase in line with market conditions.
The Nordex plant will build nacelles for 2.5 MW turbines that belong to Nordex’s new third generation efficiency class — the Gamma generation. Production began earlier this month, and the first assembled nacelle was on display.
Nacelles house the engine and other key turbine components and sit high atop the turbine tower. The assembly time for a nacelle is about two weeks, and the Nordex plant has the capacity to produce 300 per year. One Nordex turbine can power about 700 American homes.
Since breaking ground on the plant last September, Nordex has hired 54 employees, about 80 percent locals, including the first production crew. Job functions range from production assembly, process engineering, supply chain management, facilities management, training, quality assurance, safety, administration and management.
Nordex plans to grow its ranks to nearly 70 in Jonesboro and 175 nationally by the end of 2010. It has the potential to create a total of 700 jobs in Jonesboro and 1,000 nationally over the next four years, not including indirect jobs created by suppliers and service providers.
Earlier this year, steel components manufacturer Beckmann Volmer announced it would build a $10 million factory and employ 500 in neighboring Osceola to supply parts to Nordex. Part of Nordex’s strategy is to make its supply chain 80 percent domestic within the next nine months.
Nordex has both completed and planned installations in several states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Maryland and Colorado. The Arkansas facility will fill all future orders, shipping turbines to wind farms around the country.