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GE-Mitsubishi Wind-Turbine Fight Threatens Arkansas Jobs Plan

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-18-09 09:52 AM
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GE-Mitsubishi Wind-Turbine Fight Threatens Arkansas Jobs Plan
Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co.s effort to keep wind turbines made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. out of the U.S. may hinder Arkansass plan to become the Silicon Valley of wind manufacturing.

The state has spent two years luring wind-related manufacturers, including Denmarks LM Glasfiber AS and Germanys Nordex AG. In October, Mitsubishi announced plans to build a $100 million wind-turbine assembly plant that would bring about 400 jobs to Fort Smith, the states second-biggest city, with a population of 85,000.

Im confident theyre coming to Arkansas, said Joe Holmes, marketing head of the state Economic Development Commission, who used the Silicon Valley comparison. When you take not just the jobs but also the indirect jobs that this will create with suppliers -- everybodys got to eat -- its tremendous.

The plan may be delayed if the U.S. International Trade Commission, an agency set up to protect U.S. markets from unfair trade practices, sides with GE in a patent battle and bans Mitsubishi turbines from the U.S. market. The agency is to announce a decision today.

GE, the biggest U.S. wind-turbine maker, claims Mitsubishi infringes its patents. If it wins, the Fairfield, Connecticut- based company might prevent Tokyo-based Mitsubishi from increasing its share of the U.S. wind-turbine market, now dominated by GE and Denmarks Vestas Wind Systems A/S.
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