South Dakota manufacturing plant due to close gets welcome news, will stay open

Source: By Jeremy J Fugleberg, Argus Leader • Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018

An Aberdeen manufacturing plant slated to close, eliminating 400 jobs, got welcome news this holiday season.

Ohio-based Molded Fiber Glass Cos., which manufactures wind turbine blades, said it had received a “substantial new order” that would keep the Aberdeen plant open at least until the final months of 2018.

It appears NextEra and GE are behind the new order.

“We are delighted and grateful for this unexpected order and what it means for our teammates and the community of Aberdeen,” said MFG’s Senior Vice President David Giovannini in a news release.

MFG didn’t say if all of its employees were safe from losing their jobs.

Earlier this month, MFG South Dakota announced plans to close the Aberdeen plant by Feb. 15 because of the loss of business from GE, its only client, and uncertainty related to pending federal tax legislation. The move was bound to cost the plant’s 400 workers their jobs.

The final tax bill maintained the status quo on the Production Tax Credit, a credit crucial to the wind energy industry. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, lobbied to keep the tax credit in the final legislation after the bill produced by the House sliced away at the PTC.

“The decision by NextEra and GE to continue investing in the people of South Dakota and the wind industry is another positive story about the economic investment and opportunities that tax reform will provide,” said Thune in a statement. “I speak for all South Dakotans when I say how appreciative we are of their decision to stick with our state and community.”

The news means MFG’s Aberdeen plant can keep its doors open and explore other partnerships, Thune said.