WTEC Energy Corp., a company that manufactures an innovative and resilient wire cable that powers both solar and wind energy units, plans to redevelop an empty facility in rural Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The project is expected to create 315 jobs.
The former 68,000-square-foot Alpo pet food processing plant that closed in 2014 will now be used for steel-wire manufacturing and eventually expand to produce wind towers, the spine of the wind-energy turbine. The company will refurbish the facility in the federally designated Colonia of Chamberino, located at 1311 San Francisco De Asis.
“When WTEC started looking for a new location we wanted to be in the West, closer to our customers and key raw material vendors. When evaluating the pros and cons of Texas vs. New Mexico, the incentives offered by New Mexico and our close relationship with the Economic Development Department and MVEDA tipped the scale,” WTEC CEO Brian Singh said. “At this property in Doña Ana County we have an existing building with room to expand. We see a lot of growth in the wind and solar sectors and this positions us well to grow our manufacturing capacity and improve our competitive position in the market.”
As an incentive, the State of New Mexico is pledging $2 million from its Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job-creation fund to assist WTEC with land, building, and infrastructure improvements as it expands manufacturing to the state.
In addition to LEDA, $100,000 from the El Paso Electric New Mexico Economic Development fund has been pledged to WTEC to support the project. The fund, which is administered by MVEDA and the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, was established by El Paso Electric in connection with the corporate sale of the Utility to Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) to provide $1 million per year for 20 years in support of private businesses, projects, and organizations that make, or will make, a measurable difference in achieving economic growth and development, expanding and diversifying the tax base, creating new quality jobs, and increasing the economic base within El Paso Electric’s New Mexico service territory.
“This investment will bring new life to this facility and to a rural community in Southern New Mexico. We are committed to growing jobs in all parts of the state so families can achieve economic security and prosper,” EDD Secretary Keyes said. “The state LEDA assistance will not only support these jobs, but it also helps hundreds of others in the wind and solar energy industries as we invest in these higher-paying and exciting new industries.”
The New Jersey-based company expects to begin hiring in early 2022 with a ramp up to 315 full-time employees by the end of 2027. The average salary is expected to be over $37,000 and the project will have a statewide economic impact of $409 million over 10 years.
“WTEC Corp’s expansion into the Chamberino community might just become one of the most impactful job creation projects to ever take place in rural New Mexico,” Davin Lopez, president and CEO of MVEDA, said. “We are pleased that we could partner El Paso Electric’s N.M. Economic Development Fund with the State of New Mexico and Doña Ana County to land this investment.”