Public-private Partnership Brings Mitsubishi Wind Plant to Arkansas
Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MPSA) last week broke ground on a $100-million wind turbine nacelle manufacturing plant in Fort Smith, Ark.
Ichiro Fukue, senior executive vice president, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, (MHI) stated, “We are enormously excited about the prospect of this facility becoming not only a center of wind turbine manufacturing in the United States but an economic generator for Arkansas that will mean new jobs and new investment. We could not have reached this day however without a supportive Arkansas coalition of public officials, their staff and the local business community.”
MPSA’s Arkansas Wind Turbine Assembly Plant will be the company’s first nacelle manufacturing plant located outside of Japan. The nacelle, which converts wind energy to electric power and is located at the top of the wind turbine tower, consists of the wind turbine rotor axis, generator, multiplying gearbox, control system and electrical equipment. The 200,000-square-foot facility is expected to create approximately 330 jobs and be operational by the fall of 2011.
U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln greets Ichiro Fukue, senior executive vice president, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, before breaking ground on a $100-million Mitsubishi wind turbine manufacturing facility in Fort Smith, Ark.
Among those singled out for recognition by Fukue were Arkansas Gov. Michael Beebe, U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, U.S Rep. John Boozman, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, The City of Fort Smith, the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, Sebastian County, and the University of Arkansas.
Sen. Pryor stated, “The Mitsubishi-Fort Smith partnership is a winning combination for Arkansas, helping our state become a leader in the green energy industry and creating good jobs and economic development opportunities in Arkansas. I am proud that local, state, and federal stakeholders came together to make this investment possible and help bring Arkansas into the new energy economy.”
James Williams, Mitsubishi’s vice president of Manufacturing, told several hundred persons attending the ground breaking, “Our company conducted a national survey for the purpose of determining where and why we would locate a fabrication plant for the next generation of wind turbine nacelles. We looked at geography, infrastructure and transportation logistics. We looked at the need for partners at all levels of government. But most important, we looked at work ethic. We looked for a part of the country where manufacturing isn’t some lost art. Where elected officials recognize the value of job creation and new investment, and where they are enthusiastic about working closely with business to create progress.”
Given that criteria he observed, “So it should come as no surprise that we came to Fort Smith, Arkansas.”
MPSA provides a wide variety of products and services for the electric power generation industry including gas, steam, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric turbines, boilers, selective catalytic reduction systems and solar energy. MPSA was established in 2001 and is headquartered in Lake Mary, Fla., with key operations in Orlando; Newport Beach, Calif.; Houston, Texas; and Savannah, Ga.