April 8, 2010
Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has decided to build a wind turbine manufacturing plant in the US state of Arkansas. The new plant, which will fabricate nacelles, a core component of wind turbines, is slated to begin operation in the second half of 2011 with an initial annual production capacity of 600 MW. MHI looks to expand its share in the North American market, which is now in a recovery trend. The new plant will be the company's first nacelle production plant located outside of Japan.
The new facility is to be built in Fort Smith, the second-largest city in Arkansas. It will be operated and managed by Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MPSA), MHI's power systems business base in Florida. Construction on an already secured site of roughly 90 acres (approx. 360,000 square meters) is slated to begin within this year.
Plans call for the plant to begin operations with about 300 employees. The initial manufacturing target will be near 250 units of 2.4 MW wind turbines per year, with scale to be expanded incrementally thereafter. MHI will also consider launching longer-blade type turbines for low wind-speed applications.
In conjunction with the plant construction project, the Arkansas state and Fort Smith municipal governments will provide incentive measures, complementing IRS 48C Advanced Energy Project Tax Credit.