Wind tower plant to locate on Anchor Drive w/ 300 jobs - Invest Windsor Realty and Property Management
January 11, 2011
WINDSOR, Ont. -- South Korean wind power company CS Wind will locate its new wind tower plant at the Valiant manufacturing plant on Anchor Drive in Windsor's east end, says Mayor Eddie Francis.
"I'm very pleased that they're here. The announcement was made. The jobs are here," Francis said in a news conference on Monday.
The identification of a specific site for the plant represents near-closure of the deal to bring the wind tower plant -- and about 300 permanent jobs -- to Windsor.
The deal was originally announced with much fanfare in early December.
Technology giant Samsung, their corporate partner CS Wind, members of provincial parliament and city representatives all took part in a celebratory media event, organized by the province.
But afterward, rumours abounded that the deal wasn't definitive and that other communities were still trying to lure away CS Wind's investment.
"They weren't rumours," Francis confirmed on Monday.
"I've actually got the documents on the facilities that (CS Wind) were looking at across Ontario."
Francis said the city of Thorold andthetownof St. Mary'scontinued to negotiate for the wind tower plant even after the Windsor announcement on Dec. 1.
"What I will say is that other communities were very aggressive," Francis said.
"What other communities wanted, is what was announced here. They were pursuing CS Wind, they were pursuing this opportunity -like they pursue every other opportunity."
Asked how he felt about the deal still being in negotiation at such a late stage, Francis said it shows the fierce competition that the city and the region face in securing major business opportunities.
"That's what economic development is about. It's about competing for investment."
Asked why the deal for Windsor was announced so grandly in December when it was still in doubt, Francis said that question would be better answered by the province.
The Valiant plant is located at 9355 Anchor Dr. in the Twin Oaks industrial park just south of the E.C. Row Expressway at Lauzon Parkway.
Although a definitive agreement has yet to be signed, Francis said there are now commitments by Valiant to sell the production building and by CS Wind to buy it.
The site is near CP railroad tracks, which will be used to transport the wind tower parts.
Francis said the deal is contingent on the city acquiring about 60 acres east of the building and making additions to railroad infrastructure.
All told, the city will invest about $10 million in the deal, Francis said.
The proposition was put before council during a closed door session on Monday afternoon. Francis said council approved.
"A lot has been happening over a short time. We need to sit down with the rail companies. We need to have detailed discussions with them, and once that is complete, I expect the cost to be further refined."
The land acquisitions required negotiations with multiple property owners.
Valiant is currently operating out of the building -it houses automated assembly operations.
Francis said the work now being done there will be re-located to other Valiant plants.
Time lines are very tight, Francis said.
Asked when CS Wind will begin preparing the wind tower plant, he replied: "Right now. I have no other way to describe it. They have to be producing these towers in August of this year."
CS Wind is supposed to take legal occupancy of the facility by March 1, Francis said.
"They've got less than 90 days to move into the building. They're going to be in there tomorrow, and there's a lot of work that needs to behappen."
"Equipment is going to be moved in, equipment is going to be moved out."
Francis said he met with CS Wind again on Monday morning, and the company impressed upon him that training is also going to be a key focus in the weeks to come.
"We have to get revved up for production."
Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Wind+tower+plant+locate+Anchor+Drive/4088064/story.html#ixzz1Ak1Zm2c5
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