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Press Conference in Jonesboro
Mr. Ralf Sigrist
"I’d like to thank Governor Beebe and his team, the Arkansas and Jonesboro Economic Development bodies, the City of Jonesboro and its respective bodies, Craighead County, Arkansas State University, the Regional Chamber of Commerce and the local utilities for making this partnership possible.
Today marks an important milestone for Nordex: For our customers, our investors, and our people in the US and abroad, for me as President of Nordex USA, and for the people of Jonesboro.
Since we’re new in town I’d like to begin today by telling you a little bit about Nordex. Since 1985 we have been in the business of harnessing wind power. Carsten Pedersen and his family started this company with a simple vision: to produce electricity without burning fossil fuels. As a wind pioneer in the eighties, Mr. Pedersen and many others were often ridiculed for their novel ideas about power generation, but they did not let others deter them. At the ripe old age of 24 Carsten Pedersen built the largest series of wind turbines in the world at that time and Nordex continued to do so over the years.
Today, Nordex is one of the fastest-growing companies in its industry with a compound annual growth rate of 50% in the last 4 years and revenues of almost $1 billion in 2007.
Our expertise is in large-scale wind turbines. We are a technological leader in multi-megawatt wind power systems and, to date, we have produced more than 1,000 of these multi-megawatt turbines around the globe.
Turbine assembly here in Jonesboro will begin end of next year and as early as 2010 the first locally produced 2.5 MW N80/90 wind turbine will be installed in the US. Our $100 million investment will go toward establishing annual production capacity of 300 wind turbines by 2012 (equaling 750 megawatts of nominal capacity per annum). By 2010, we want to invest two thirds of our investment in rotor blade production. With the rotor blade production being operational at full capacity in 2012 we will have over 700 Arkansans as a part of our Nordex USA team. That is nearly 1/3 of our current global workforce. You can see how important Jonesboro is for us.
Today is only the beginning. Our goal is to become one of the leading wind turbine manufacturers, generating 20% of our revenue here in the US. And thanks to this partnership, we are one significant step closer.
Looking toward the future, the prospects for our industry remain very encouraging. Wind is the world’s fastest-growing energy source with an average annual growth rate of 29% over the last 10 years. It is also the most affordable renewable energy and at some locations simply the most competitive. Power generation costs have fallen by 50% in the last 15 years, moving the generation costs of wind power system close to grid parity. The worldwide installed capacity is estimated to more than triple over the next 5 years to reach 290 gigawatts by 2012.
One last, but important, point I’d like to make. Why Jonesboro? We started this process more than a year ago. We have looked at over 35 different prospects. We finally chose Jonesboro because it provides the perfect environment for us as a renewable energy company with its central location, ideal infrastructure, its training facilities and its skilled workforce. But, in the end, it was the people here, the Governor, city officials and their great team that convinced us that we had made the absolute right decision. I thank you and look forward to a long, fruitful relationship."
October 24, 2008
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