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Online auction for Katana Summit tower manufacturing facility

UNITED STATES: Despite promising signs in the US market for tower manufacturers, Katana Summit is set to sell its factory in Ephrata, Washington, via an online auction next week.

Industrial auctioneer Hilco will dispose of the assets on 18 April via a live webcast auction in Ephrata. Katana Summit put itself up for sale in September last year, blaming federal uncertainty over whether the production tax credit (PTC) was going to expire for falling orders.

In November, agriculture specialist Valmont Industries bought Katana plant in Columbus, Nebraska, and is repurposing it to manufacture steel transmission cables for the utility industry.

The sale comes as there is a potential upturn for tower suppliers in the US after issues with oversupply and cheap imports from Asia.

There has been an upturn in the fortunes of tower manufacturers since the PTC was extended. The US also imposed sanctions on Chinese and Vietnamese imports.

This year, Broadwind has won just under $60 million in orders. And in January, Vestas signed a deal with an unnamed contractor to supply towers in North America from its factory at Pueblo, Colorado.

"There is the distinct possibility of a strong rush to secure wind towers," said analyst Dan Shreve, Make Consulting's US-based partner.

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