FRANKFURT (AP) -- German conglomerate Siemens AG said Tuesday it will build a wind turbine production plant in Kansas, expanding its presence in the U.S. and employing 400 workers.
The Munich-based company's renewable energy unit said it plans to start construction of the 30,000-square foot facility in Hutchinson by August, with production to start later next year.
The nacelle production plant will average 650 units a year when production gets under way.
The 90-ton nacelle is mounted on top of a tower and supports the rotors of the wind turbine. It houses components for electric power generation, including the gearbox, the drive train and control electronics.
"The United States already is and will continue to be one of the world's fastest growing wind energy markets," Siemens Chief Executive Peter Loescher said in a written statement.
Siemens already operates a rotor blade plant in Fort Madison, Iowa, that opened in 2007.
Siemens said Hutchinson was picked after an extensive search and competition between several finalists, and noted the city is near the geographic center of the U.S.
"By expanding our investment in Kansas, we are strengthening our presence in the U.S. and, at the same time, we are increasing the proximity to our U.S. customers," said Rene Umlauft, chief executive of Siemens Energy's Renewable Energy Division.
Siemens wind power business employs more than 5,500 workers and has operations in Denmark and Colorado.
Shares of Siemens were down more than 1 percent to euro52.16 ($72.94) in Frankfurt trading.