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Arkansas Could Get Another Windmill Factory

Gov. Mike Beebe has hinted that Arkansas could become the site of a fourth windmill manufacturing operation.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Gov. Mike Beebe has hinted that Arkansas could become the site of a fourth windmill manufacturing operation.

The governor made the reference Saturday in announcing an initiative with the Clinton Foundation to make Arkansas buildings more energy efficient.

Beebe said the state has made strides toward securing jobs through businesses that address the U.S. and worldwide problem of global warming, and he mentioned that three foreign companies were now developing sites in Arkansas to make windmill parts.

"We're working on a fourth one for another part of the state," Beebe told the audience at the Clinton Center.

He did not elaborate.

The governor said that while Arkansas does not have the wind conditions for windmill farms to produce electricity, Arkansans can make the materials needed for this alternative source of energy.

Matt DeCample, a spokesman for the governor, said afterward that he had nothing to add to what the governor said. DeCample said the governor has no major economic development announcements scheduled in the near future.

LM Glasfiber in October held an opening ceremony for its factory at the Port of Little Rock. The Denmark-based company is keeping two plants open in Little Rock and has a target of 630 employees, though executives say that number may grow. The company says it will invest $150 million.

Also in October, officials announced a $100 million Nordex USA Inc. wind turbine plant will hire 700 people in Jonesboro.

In addition, a $20 million investment will accompany the arrival of two companies in Little Rock -- Polymarin Composites USA Ltd., and Wind Water Technology, which will make windmill blades and turbines, respectively. Combined, they are to hire 830 people.

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