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Ormet Rolling Mill Location Will Be Voith Hydro Site

By Staff | Nov 11, 2009

Forty manufacturing jobs are coming to the former Ormet rolling mill in Monroe County, thanks to York, Pa.-based Voith Hydro.

“We plan to start production at this facility in early 2010,” Voith President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Garner said. “We will be hiring local labor for assembly work.”

Garner joined Ohio officials, including Gov. Ted Strickland and U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio, for the announcement at the site Nov. 2. Garner said his company soon will begin renovating a 32,400-square-foot portion of the former rolling mill, a facility Voith has leased for five years.

Workers will manufacture parts for generators to be used at “run-of-the-river hydroelectric facilities” operated by American Municipal Power Inc.

“We have a contract to build four plants for American Municipal Power (Inc.) along the Ohio River,” he said of projects at the Smithland, Cannelton, Willow Island, and Meldahl dams. The parts, or stators, the company plans to manufacture for the river projects measure 30 feet by 10 feet, weighing roughly 128 tons.

“They are pretty big. . . We needed to be somewhere that would let us easily transport these,” Garner said, lauding the building’s proximity to the Ohio River and Ohio 7.

The announcement comes as welcome news to Monroe County Commissioner President John Pyles and Community Developer Tom Scott, who have been working to redevelop the riverfront.

“We are elated about this to say the least,” Scott said. “The facility has all the utilities and access a company could ever need.”

“Anytime you can help bring in jobs, it is a good thing. And we will get some spin-off jobs from this as well,” Pyles said.

“They are going to manufacture the turbines and put them on barges to ship them where they need to go,” the commissioner added, noting the riverfront facility was a prime location for such work.

Though he said the company will “have to see how business goes” before making any further commitments, Garner said the jobs could be long-term career opportunities.

“Currently, about eight percent of electricity in the U.S. comes from hydropower. We believe this could double in 15 years,” he said about the future prospects for his business.

AMP President and CEO Marc Gerken said in a release that his company is glad to be working with Voith in Ohio.

“This hydro development is important for our participating member communities and we’re proud that it will be bringing green jobs to Ohio,” he said.

In the release, Strickland also thanked Voith for the investment.

“Our skilled manufacturing work force and commitment to innovation positions Ohio to be a leader in producing and supplying green technologies,” he said. “We are investing in the growth of Ohio’s advanced and renewable energy business because the industry is creating jobs for Ohioans.”

“This reaffirms that Ohio can become the Silicon Valley of clean energy manufacturing,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, states in the release.

Pyles noted county officials continue working to attract more development for the riverfront.

“We continue working with state and federal officials to see what we can bring to Monroe County,” he said.