Worthington Industries and Gestamp to Form a Wind Power JV

Worthington Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WOR) announced its Worthington Energy Group subsidiary has signed a memorandum of understanding with Gestamp Renewables group to create a 50-50 joint venture. The joint venture, Gestamp Worthington Wind Steel, LLC, will focus on producing towers for wind turbines being constructed in the North American market. The joint venture partners have identified 30 acres in Cheyenne, Wyo. as the site of the joint venture’s initial production facility. The parties expect to sign an agreement in the next quarter and anticipate employing 150 people when fully operational.

“This joint venture is the result of pursuing opportunities in the renewable energy field for the past nine months in a newly formed Worthington Energy Group,” John P. McConnell, Chairman and CEO of Worthington Industries said. “We are very pleased to be partnering with Gestamp, a company we have known for several years. We share many of the same operating principles and ideals, and also have complementary industry capabilities and experience.”

“Worthington and Gestamp will work very well together in this joint venture,” said Jon Riberas, President and CEO of Gestamp Renewables. “We have wind tower manufacturing facilities in Spain, Turkey, and Brazil, and are happy to be partnering with Worthington in our first North American facility.”

Gestamp Wind Steel has developed global supply relationships with key players in the wind turbine markets and will bring the operational experience needed for the manufacturing of the towers. Worthington will bring its experience in North America manufacturing, purchasing, and human resources to the venture.

The joint venture anticipates beginning shipments of 80-100 foot long tower sections for wind turbines in the first quarter of calendar year 2012. The proposed facility will produce utility-scale towers for 2.0 to 3.0 MW wind turbines. Initial plans call for production of over 300 towers per year. The joint venture will generally serve as a subcontractor to manufacture the tower structures for renewable energy companies which construct the wind tower turbines. Wyoming was chosen because of its attractive logistical location relative to the growing renewable energy market in the western United States.

The plant will be built in the Cheyenne Logistics Hub, which is near two major rail lines and the intersection of two interstate highways.

“We are so pleased to welcome these two companies and the many manufacturing jobs they will bring,” remarked Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “Wyoming has created a great environment for business and continues its national leadership in the energy sector.”

Corporacion Gestamp is a Spanish industrial holding company, whose core businesses are industrial steel manufacturing services including metal components for the automotive industry, steel towers for the wind industry, and steel structural components for the solar industry. Comprised of three large industrial divisions, Gonvarri, Gestamp Automotive and Gestamp Renewables, the company has a strong global presence with facilities in 25 countries across four continents. In 2010 fiscal year, the Gestamp Corporation achieved sales of $6.8 billion and employed more than 20,000 employees globally.

Worthington Industries is a leading diversified metals manufacturing company with 2010 fiscal year sales of approximately $1.9 billion. The Columbus, Ohio based company is North America’s premier value-added steel processor, and a leader in manufactured pressure cylinders, such as propane, oxygen and helium tanks, hand torches, refrigerant and industrial cylinders, camping cylinders, CNG storage, and scuba tanks; light gauge steel framing for commercial and residential construction; framing systems and stairs for mid-rise buildings; current and past model automotive service stampings; steel pallets and racks; and through joint ventures, suspension grid systems for concealed and lay-in panel ceilings and laser welded blanks. Worthington employs approximately 6,500 people and operates 67 facilities in 11 countries.