Energy Composites Corporation (OTCBB:ENCC) took a significant step forward in its development of a major new wind blade manufacturing facility on a 94 acre site in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. The legislation, which Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed into law on Energy Composites’ manufacturing campus on Friday, allows Energy Composites access for the first time to a $238 million statewide pool of municipal tax-free bonding authority. The Recovery Zone Facility pool was created by the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the Stimulus Bill.
“Tax-free bonds are a critical component of our financing plan for the 535,000 square foot plant,” noted Sam Fairchild, Energy Composites’ CEO. “Development costs for our new factory are too large for traditional Industrial Development financing programs, and the Recovery Zone Bond program, which expires at the end of 2010, is precisely the right solution at precisely the right time. Senator Lassa recognized how critical tax-free financing is to our business model, and she moved with great agility and grace to ensure that we are eligible for this Federal program within a time frame that allows us to site the project in Wisconsin Rapids. For her diligence, foresight and confidence, we are most grateful.”
Upon completion, Energy Composites’ new plant will be the most advanced in North America, with the capability of building blades up to 65 meters in length that will supply both onshore and offshore wind farms. The wind energy plant will enjoy a maximum range of flexibility in production design, and will provide for an unusually-high level of control over inputs. The wind power plant will employ more than 600 employees, most certified through ECC’s blade fabrication curriculum in partnership with Mid-State Technical College.
Jamie Mancl, ECC’s founder and President, underscored the company’s thanks to the Wisconsin Legislature and Wisconsin Rapids officials. He said, “From Senator Julie Lassa to (Wisconsin Rapids) Mayor Mary Jo Carson to (bond counsel) Lynda Templen of the law firm of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., ECC has benefitted from the vision and hard work of officials and professionals alike who have gone beyond normal expectations to secure good, non-exportable skilled jobs for Wisconsin. We will do our part, as we complete our financing arrangements and prepare to break ground.”
Fairchild added, “We will submit application to the Department of Commerce for access to the municipal tax free status for the debt portion of our financing quickly, and move forward with the remainder of the financial structure for the new plant development. We anticipate beginning large production activities in the first quarter of 2011, following proving runs at the end of 2010, and believe that our timing will coincide with a strong upswing in demand for blades in early 2011.”
Adrian Williams, head of ECC’s WindFiber(TM) Division, added “We also anticipate that 2011 will bring very strong market interest in offshore wind farm development, and coupling our 65 meter blade capability with ECC’s Great Lakes Strategy, we believe that we will be in the right place at the right time.”
ECC operates a world-class, automated 73,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled manufacturing facility in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, employing advanced composite materials to design, engineer and manufacture complex composite structures, vessels and processing systems for a range of clean-tech applications that include: wind energy system components, flue gas desulfurization for power plants, infrastructure for bio-fuel storage and processing, infrastructure for managing waste water and drinking water storage, advanced municipal utilities infrastructure, and caustic material storage and handling systems for the petrochemical, mining and the pulp and paper industries.
ECC also provides 24/7 field service crews nationwide for wind energy system composites maintenance, repair and overhaul; industrial retrofit, shutdown and maintenance; system installation; and repair and inspection services.