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Alternative energy firm eyeing New Castle plant

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A Washington, D.C.-based alternative energy company has signed a letter of intent to use an idled plant in New Castle to produce wind turbines as part of a national energy program.

State Rep. Tom Saunders, R-Lewisville, who announced the agreement on Wednesday, said nearly 1,800 jobs could be created within the next two years.

The D’Arcinoff Group would use the plant to manufacture components and as a training facility for a wind turbine-manufacturing program called Advantage Wind Turbines.

In June, D’Arcinoff said it ultimately could create 20,000 jobs in Indiana by manufacturing its green-energy supply system somewhere in the state. The firm’s potential purchase of the plant could be the first step in accomplishing the goal.

D’Arcinoff has applied for a loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States and is awaiting a reply on whether funding for the plant will be granted. The company expects a decision within 60 days.

The job-creation plans would provide an economic boost for the New Castle area. Plymouth, Mich.-based Metaldyne Corp. last summer closed the plant, which it bought from Chrysler Corp. in 2003. The Chrysler supplier was the largest employer in New Castle.

“Although this is only a step in what could be a potentially long process, and nothing is guaranteed, the news of [D’Arcinoff] wanting to bring jobs and invest back into the Metaldyne plant in New Castle is great news,” Rep. Saunders said in a prepared statement.

Nationally, D’Arcinoff has said it could employ more than 100,000 people to manufacture, operate and service its turbines. The company also is considering locating operations in Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York and Ohio.

D'Arcinoff wants to build wind turbines to generate electricity for Europe and provide synthetic fuel to the aviation industry using equipment from empty manufacturing plants.

D’Arcinoff’s plan counts on producing 30,000 wind turbines a year, 10 times the number produced by Denmark-based Vestas the world’s largest maker of wind turbines.
 

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