PA Gov. Rendell Announces Bucks County as Site of Gamesa’s Three New Manufacturing Facilities
High-Tech Plants to Create More Than 300 Manufacturing Jobs, Return a Former
U.S. Steel Industrial Site to Productive Use
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced the Spanish wind-energy company Gamesa Corp. is expanding operations inPennsylvania by investing another $34 million to open three new modern manufacturing centers on 20-plus acres of U.S. Steel’s former Fairless Hills industrial site. The company previously had invested $40 million inPennsylvania, including funding for another manufacturing facility, its first inNorth America.
The three new advanced technology plants inBucksCountywill create more than 300 new jobs in the production of wind mill blades and towers and the assembly of nacelles, which house the wind turbines.
“Once again,Pennsylvaniacontinues to attract manufacturing jobs and solid private sector investment,” Governor Rendell said. “This is positive news for the whole region, and it will help to continuePennsylvania’s strong leadership in alternative energy.
“Clean energy production is vital toPennsylvania’s growing economy,” Governor Rendell said. “Gamesa’s commitment toPennsylvaniareinforces our reputation as a national leader in the development and deployment of clean, advanced energy. This new manufacturing sector opens the door to even more job opportunities and greater investments as the market for clean energy continues to grow.”
The new operations build on Gamesa’s strong presence inPennsylvania, where the company has invested $40 million to locate its North American headquarters inPhiladelphiaand construct and operate a separate manufacturing facility in Ebensburg,CambriaCounty. Thirty people work at thePhiladelphiaoffice; another 234 workers are employed at the Ebensburg plant, located about 20 miles north ofJohnstown.
The Department of Community and Economic Development, along with the Bucks County Economic Development Corp., offered Gamesa a financial package totaling approximately $10 million in grants, loans and tax credits for the three manufacturing centers. The company received $9.31 million in state incentives for itsCambriaCountyfacility.
Work on the financial package was spearheaded by the Governor’s Action Team, economic development professionals who report directly to Governor Rendell. The state completed 205 GAT projects statewide last year, resulting in commitments to create nearly 19,800 jobs and retain nearly 40,000 positions. The state provided more than $418 million in assistance for these projects, which leveraged more than $1.9 billion in additional investment. More than 72 percent of the projects completed by the Governor’s Action Team in 2005 involved manufacturers.
Gamesa, the second largest wind energy company in the world headquartered inVictoria,Spain, also will realize significant benefits by locating on land that formerly housed a steel mill. U.S. Steel’s 1,289-acre industrial park is classified as a Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone, which encourages brownfield redevelopment by offering businesses tax-free status through 2018.
“Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector is growing, and advanced energy technology companies like Gamesa are leading the way,” Governor Rendell said.
“Not only are we focused on job creation, making sure our businesses remain competitive in world markets, but we also are supporting the development of alternative energy sources while helping to return abandoned industrial sites to productive use. That is the aggressive type of action we are taking to support our workers, businesses and communities inPennsylvania,” Governor Rendell said.
“We are creating cleaner sources of energy that improve quality of life and make us less reliant on foreign fuel, improving the environment and enhancing security at home,” the Governor said.
Gamesa’s blade manufacturing plant at Fairless Hills will produce parts for the Gamesa G8X-2.0 MW multi-megawatt wind turbines, which incorporate the latest technological advances, such as the use of carbon fiber. The $12 million plant, which will have an annual production capacity of 300 megawatts, will begin production in the middle of the year.
The new $7 million plant for the manufacture of towers for the Gamesa G8X-2.0 MW wind turbine platform will have an annual production capacity of 300 megawatts. This project will become fully operational in the first half of 2006.
The $15 million plant responsible for the assembly of the nacelles for the Gamesa G80-2.0 MW, Gamesa G83-2.0 MW, Gamesa G87-2.0 MW and Gamesa G90-2.0 MW wind turbines will have an annual production capacity of 1,000 megawatts, enough to power more than 300,000 homes. This project will become operational before summer. These jobs are very technical and require highly trained workers, enhancingPennsylvania’s ability to compete in a high-tech marketplace.
“It is an ambitious industrial plan that will reinforce our long-term commitment to the wind energy market of theUnited States, which is one of the priority markets for Gamesa,” said company President Alfonso Basagoiti, who noted that Gamesa has signed contracts for more than 669 megawatts of wind production during 2004 and 2005.
Pennsylvaniaremains a leader in wind production east of theMississippi, providing enough clean energy to power some 70,000 homes.
The Department of Environmental Protection has been spearheading Governor Rendell’s efforts to build a clean energy future. The Governor shared the details of this work during a speech in December before the National Press Club inWashington,D.C., where he called for a massive national commitment to alternative energy modeled afterPennsylvania’s actions.
Pennsylvaniais leading the nation in an effort to modernize energy infrastructure to provide affordable, reliable, cleaner fuel. ThePennsylvania”Energy Deployment for a Growing Economy” initiative, or EDGE, provides regulatory and financial incentives to shut down older, dirtier, inefficient power plants and re-power with advanced coal gasification technology that produces synthetic gas for manufacturing feedstock, synthetic natural gas to heat homes, transportation fuels or electricity.
The nation’s very first coal gasification-liquefaction plant is being built inSchuylkillCounty. Construction of Waste Management and Processors Inc.’s waste-coal-to-diesel plant will create as many as 1,000 jobs; operating the plant will produce another 600 permanent, high-paying positions. The plant will clean up tens of millions of tons of waste coal while giving the state and consumers clean diesel at a fraction of the market price.
The Governor also launched the East Coast’s first commercially viable biofuels storage and blending system inMiddletown,DauphinCounty. The plant will replace 3.2 million gallons of foreign oil with domestically produced biodiesel and will keep about $6 million worth of energy dollars in the commonwealth by reducing the state’s need to purchase imported fuels.
Pennsylvaniarecently was recognized for its national energy leadership in working to put landfill gas to work for the economy. Granger Energy’s Lanchester Landfill project, which received a $235,000 state grant, supplies treated gas to several companies to use in place of natural gas in boilers and processes, displacing their reliance on natural gas. Putting this resource to use to power the economy offers a clean, cheap energy supply that businesses can use to keep jobs inPennsylvania.
Pennsylvaniais home to one of the nation’s most progressive alternative energy portfolio standards, ensuring that 18 percent of all energy generated comes from clean, efficient sources by the year 2020. Benefits include $10 billion in increased output forPennsylvania, $3 billion in additional earnings and between 3,500 and 4,000 new jobs for residents over the next 20 years.
Brought back to life by Governor Rendell after years of inactivity, the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority has awarded $15 million in grants and loans for 41 clean energy projects that will leverage another $200 million in private investment. The projects will create 1,558 permanent and construction jobs. In addition, the research projects, if successful, could net as many as 327 full-time jobs.
The Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program funds projects that build markets for advanced and renewable energy technologies that use biomass, wind, solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, energy efficiency, coal-bed methane and waste coal. Launched by Governor Rendell in the very first months of his administration, Energy Harvest has awarded $15.9 million and leveraged another $43.7 million in private funds since its inception in May 2003.