Mitsubishi begins Arkansas factory construction

UNITED STATES: Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi has started construction on a $100million nacelle plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The nacelle for the 2.4MW machine

The 200,000 sqft facility will produce nacelles for Mitsubishi’s 2.4MW machine, the subject of a long-standing legal dispute with the US manufacturer GE.

Mitsubishi said the factory, its first nacelle plant outside of Japan, will create about 330 jobs and be operational by the fall of 2011.

The plant is to receive manufacturing tax credits approved under the federal government’s 2009 economic stimulus package.

Ichiro Fukue, the senior executive vice-president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, said: "We are enormously excited about the prospect of this facility becoming not only a centre of wind turbine manufacturing in the United States but an economic generator for Arkansas that will mean new jobs and new investment."

But MHI has previously said the Arkansas factory could lay idle if GE wins the ongoing patent dispute.

The numerous suits between the two companies include an anti-trust suit filed by Mitsubishi in Arkansas.