Update: Gov. speaks on Arkansas wind turbine plant

    12:36 PM, Jun 28, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A northeast Arkansas wind turbine factory is ending production, putting about 40 people out of work.

    The $40 million Nordex USA factory in Jonesboro was announced with great fanfare in 2009, promising to eventually employ 750 people. But the company announced Friday that the production facility will close after it fills current orders.

    Parent company Nordex SE says production of new orders will shift to Germany but repairs and other services will continue at the Jonesboro site.

    Nordex says overcapacity in the industry and uncertainty in the U.S. market are reasons for the closure. The company also says the lack of a long-term federal production tax credit added a level of instability.

    The layoffs are expected in October.

    Statement from Gov. Mike Beebe:

    "Nordex's departure is directly related to Congress's inability to follow through on an alternative-energy policy they started and now can't agree on. I have been saying for years that there must be stable tax policy with this kind of intense capital investment. Congress has totally failed to provide one, wavering year-to-year on the wind energy tax credit. This indecisiveness is costing Arkansas, and America, jobs.

    "Fortunately for taxpayers, Nordex has been a model corporate citizen, and is repaying Arkansas incentives that the company received when operations began. Nordex is not completely leaving Jonesboro, and I hope future conditions will allow American production to resume.

    "I am so fed up with Congress. I think the American people and Arkansans are fed up with them, too. This is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington has become."

    (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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