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Carmel-based wind-gear maker plans Marion plant

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Vela Gear Systems LLC, a Carmel-based startup manufacturer of mechanical power transmission components used in wind energy, announced Tuesday that it will establish its first manufacturing operations in Marion, creating up to 163 jobs by 2013.

The company, which manufactures components for gears and gearboxes, said it will make a multimillion dollar investment to construct a 250,0000-square-foot manufacturing facility next to Ivy Tech Community College in Marion.

Construction on the new facility is scheduled to begin by mid-2011. Hiring will take place in late 2011 with operations set to begin by mid-2012.

"Indiana is an ideal location due to the high-skilled workforce, and a central location close to a variety of North American customers," said Noel Davis, founder and CEO of Vela Gear Systems.

Vela was founded by veterans of the gear making industry from across the Midwest. The facility will be among the only U.S. manufacturers of large-scale gears for wind-turbine assemblies.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Vela up to $1.6 million in performance-based tax credits, based on the company's job-creation plans. The city of Marion will consider the establishment of a tax increment financing district at the development site.

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