New wind blade order keeps MFG Aberdeen plant open

Published: Dec. 28, 2017 at 5:17 PM CST
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In a major turn-around for the Hub City, a new order of wind turbine blades will keep the Molded Fiber Glass plant in Aberdeen past its initial closing date of February.

On December 6, MFG announced the plant's shutdown due to changes in the market conditions. Today, KSFY learned a substantial new order will keep the plant open a bit longer. It's an exciting announcement for MFG staff.

"It's very positive. We were very pleased that the order came through," MFG Senior Vice President David Giovannini said.

The MFG Plant in Aberdeen will not be closing in February as originally planned.

"We will remain open and there will be no change in the organization in terms of the number of people or anything and we will continue to build the blades," Giovannini said.

Staffing requirements may change, but it's an aspect the company will have to take a look at.

"It's even possible we may have to hire a couple people, but our expectation is that the 409 people that we had when we announced the closure is pretty much what we'll need," Giovannini said.

The senior vice president is grateful for the work done by Senator John Thune on his effort to preserve the Production Tax Credit (PTC) in the tax reform bill that just passed.

"Production Tax Credit has been an incentive that has been in place for some time to support the wind industry in this country," Sen. Thune said. "In 2015, an effort was made which I was involved in to phase out that tax credit over time to provide stability and predictability to the industry."

But in the tax reform bill, the House decided to do away with it while the Senate fought to preserve it.

Sen. Thune worked closely with Nexterra and GE - two companies heavily invested in the wind energy industry.

"So my hope would be that what comes out of this if perhaps they continue to place orders for blades and keep producing those there, and even if they don't that we find working with the state and community of Aberdeen, to find somebody that will come in there and continue to have those good paying jobs for people in Aberdeen and the surrounding area," Sen. Thune said.

Giovannini said the staff plans on taking things one step at a time. He hopes his customers will find a need for wind turbines to keep the plant open long after the new order is complete by August of next year.