Mayor Richard M. Daley today welcomed Nordex USA, Inc. to Chicago as the German manufacturer of wind turbines opened its new North American Headquarters at 300 S. Wacker Dr.
“On behalf of all Chicagoans I want to say how pleased we are that Nordex has selected Chicago,” Daley said in a news conference at the company offices.
“Nordex is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of wind turbines with operations in 18 countries and has 32 key staff on board now and expects to employ about 100 people here within the next years,” he said.
Daley said Chicago’s ability to provide companies with a strong and vibrant talent pool, a central location with easy access to the world and an outstanding quality of life has helped the city succeed in gaining business investment and expansion, despite the difficult economic times.
In 2008 major national and international companies chose Chicago for their corporate headquarters, including MillerCoors, Veolia Environment – which is the world’s largest environmental services company — and Aviva, the world’s 5th largest insurance company.
The Mayor said he was especially pleased that one of the reasons Nordex became interested in Chicago was because of the environmental leadership example the City has set.
“Early in my administration, I made a commitment to enhance our environment and make Chicago the most environmentally friendly city in the nation. We have been committed to investing in green businesses and industries because these jobs represent the future,” Daley said.
“And that, in turn, promotes economic development throughout our city and improves the quality of life for all our residents,” he said.
He thanked Ralf Sigrist, Nordex President and Chief Executive Officer for the company’s decision to locate in Chicago. “Centering our business in Chicago brings us closer to our customers and suppliers and puts us in the heart of the wind industry,” said Sigrist. “It will also support our strategy of generating 20% of global revenues here, while helping the US to achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals and to build a vibrant domestic industry.”
“When a company such as Nordex makes a commitment like this one, it sends a strong message to the business community that our leaders work together and that Chicago can meet the needs of any company in the world – from the largest to the smallest,” he said.
Nordex, which will be exhibiting at the Windpower 2009 conference next week, will celebrate the official opening of its offices on Tuesday, May 5.
Nordex in the US
With global headquarters in Germany, Nordex is one of the fastest growing wind turbine producers in the world, currently employing 2,200 people. Specializing in large-scale, multi-megawatt turbines, the company recently recorded a fourth consecutive year of over 50% sales growth.
“Nordex sees the US as one of the biggest growth markets for wind energy in the world,” said Sigrist. “That’s why in addition to setting up operations in Chicago, we will also manufacture our turbines here.”
In October of 2008, Nordex announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The company will invest approximately $100 million in the factory, which will employ more than 700 people in Arkansas and around100 people in Chicago by 2015. It will manufacture every component of a wind turbine except the tower, with a target annual assembly capacity of 750 megawatts. Construction is slated to begin this year, with production planned for 2010.
“Establishing a firm operating and manufacturing presence will enable Nordex to keep better pace with strong demand in the US, which has outstripped our ability to import turbines manufactured abroad fast enough,” said Sigrist. “From Chicago we will be in the capital of the wind industry, and from Jonesboro we will be at a geographic center for product distribution.” Nordex is also gearing up to build a home-grown supply chain in the US.
In 2008, Nordex surpassed the one billion euro threshold, achieving sales of EUR 1.136 billion, or USD 1.533 billion, and produced the 1000th turbine of the N80/N90/N100 class.