A company that designs and makes wind-turbine blades says it will start its first U.S. facility at a former refrigerator plant in Evansville that Whirlpool Corp. closed last year. The business said it could employ up to 400 workers in the area by 2014.
Officials of Global Blade Technology announced Tuesday that it will lease a portion of the factory to house the company's engineering design, production and consultancy offices. Those offices could employ up to 40 people by next year.
In 2013, the Netherlands-based company plans to build an additional facility in southern Indiana to manufacture composite rotor blades for wind-turbine generators. That facility could employ up to 400 by 2014.
Evansville officials have been working to transform the factory site into an industrial park to replace the 1,100 jobs lost when Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool shut down the plant and shifted its work to Mexico.
The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered the company up to $2.8 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on its job-creation plans. The city of Evansville is receiving a federal Community Development Block Grant for purchase of capital equipment. Evansville also is offering the company tax breaks and loans.