Nanshan Group to Build $100 Million Aluminum Extrusion Plant in Indiana
LAFAYETTE, Ind., February 16, 2011 - A division of the Nanshan Group, based in the People’s Republic of China, is building and equipping a $100 million, 435,000-square-foot aluminum extrusion manufacturing facility and office in Lafayette. It is slated to open in early 2012 and will employ 150 within two years.
The Lafayette plant, the company’s first manufacturing site in the United States, will be known as Nanshan America Advanced Aluminum Technologies and located on 50 acres in Park 350, a 330-acre industrial park near Veterans Memorial Parkway and U.S. 52.
The announcement was made by Lijun Du, president of parent company Nanshan America Co. Ltd., at a news conference at Ross-Ade Pavilion in West Lafayette. He was joined by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and Tippecanoe County Commissioner David Byers, among others.
“The site we purchased in Lafayette makes a lot of sense for our business,” Du said. “It is close to our main market. We have easy access to Interstate 65, a truck diesel station nearby, low business costs, technical support from Purdue, a strong workforce base and training capabilities at Ivy Tech Community College.”
The community’s open arms were also a factor, he said. “During the process of this strategic decision making, we have had a feeling that we are coming back home. The whole community is welcoming Nanshan as a friend coming back. And that is important for a Chinese company making its first $100-million U.S. investment in the largest economy in the world.”
Du’s Lafayette ties include earning a master’s of science in industrial administration in 2004 from Purdue University and formerly serving as director of China operations for Oscar Winski Co. Inc., a Lafayette-headquartered business.
“The Nanshan facility in Lafayette will make high-end aluminum extrusions used in mass transportation, automotive, distribution, industrial and electrical industries,” Du said. “We will also make train-body material for the upcoming high-speed rail industry. It will be a very competitive combination—Chinese capital, state-of-the-art equipment from Europe and the U.S. with the most recently patented technology, experienced and innovative American management and a talented local workforce.”
Phase 1 construction begins immediately, he said. “We plan to install equipment in January 2012, with production slated to begin in the second quarter of 2012. Average wages will be $15.27 per hour, plus benefits.”
“The positives in today’s announcement are both abundant and ongoing, tangible and intangible,” said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski.
“At the top of the list is the jobs—150 new jobs. Next is the long-term economic impact. Greater Lafayette Commerce, which worked closely with the company to bring its manufacturing plant here, estimates that the local impact will be $412 million in the company’s first decade here,” Roswarski said.
“Less tangible but of great significance to Lafayette are the global implications of Nanshan America’s decision,” he said. “It’s a big world, a world with many countries, states, cities and towns looking for a company like this to choose them. And Lafayette was chosen.
“That says a lot about our community, our readiness for new industry, what we offer and our stature on the world stage,” Roswarski said. “This surely enhances our standing on that global stage even more. Today’s announcement also brings our community a special opportunity to enrich our diversity and understanding of other cultures. It’s an opportunity to learn, to grow and to demonstrate that Lafayette truly values and welcomes people of every culture and custom.”
David Byers, president of the Tippecanoe County Commissioners, said, “It’s a big day when we can make an announcement of such significance and importance to Tippecanoe County. To be selected as the site for Nanshan America’s first North American operations means a lot of people are working hard together. We work as a team here in Tippecanoe County. We ready our community to be in a position to do what it takes to land a new industry. We communicate a business-friendly spirit, and that speaks volumes to companies like Nanshan America.”
Purdue President France Córdova welcomed the return of a Purdue graduate to the community. “This is a proud day for Purdue, as another one of our graduates has become a successful leader and role model for our students,” she said. “We are prepared to help Nanshan build a profitable, healthy business by assisting with recruiting support and employee training programs. We also look forward to working with Nanshan through internships and co-op programs, fulfilling the company’s needs and providing our students with invaluable experiential learning.”
Michael Gibson, chairman of the board of Greater Lafayette Commerce, attended the news conference. “Welcoming a new industry to town is one of the shining moments for Greater Lafayette Commerce, where a talented staff and a corps of volunteers are dedicated to working together to make our community all it can be. Today’s announcement is significant—in jobs, in opportunity and in economic impact.”
Another attending was Vic Lechtenberg, vice provost for engagement at Purdue University, which entered into a partnership proposal with the company to facilitate several services.
“Each fall, Purdue University welcomes thousands of students to campus,” Lechtenberg said. “Most will go on to outstanding careers and achievements. Some will return to launch a business here. That’s the case with Lijun Du. When his career put him in a position to be instrumental in selecting a site for a new venture, he remembered our community. While good business called for him to explore other sites, Lafayette and Tippecanoe County ultimately won out.”
Purdue is establishing an administrative team to assist with services, from education, workforce development and consulting experts to recruiting interns, graduates and alumni. “We are also offering affordable access to our state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories when use would not conflict with our research or education programs,” Lechtenberg said.
Joseph Seaman, president and chief executive officer of Greater Lafayette Commerce, highlighted the multiple benefits of the announcement. “The benefit tally is long—jobs, a dynamic product with great sales potential, growth in a new industrial park, positive economic impact throughout our community and greater diversity in our manufacturing mix are among them,” he said. “Obviously, we believe Nanshan has made a wise choice for its first U.S. manufacturing facility. We welcome the company and its success and growth here.”
Greater Lafayette Commerce worked closely with Nanshan representatives, said Jody Hamilton, director of economic development.
“From the first notice we received that Nanshan America Co. Ltd. might be interested in Lafayette to the time we knew they had chosen our community was an amazingly short period of time—only about two months,” she said. “That kind of timeline is quite unusual. Because we continually work on recruitment, we were able to pull our team together and respond immediately. We were ready.”
Greater Lafayette Commerce first learned of the company’s interest in early November.
“We didn’t know it then, but company representatives had already visited here three times,” Hamilton said. “I began direct communications with the company on December 21 and met with their site team on January 5. Their company chairman visited here on January 7, and we were soon finalizing details.
“It was not a slam dunk, however,” she said. “We did have competition, others who wanted this company in their town. One was another Indiana community and two other states were in the running, too. In the end, what Lafayette had to offer proved to be the best, and today we welcome a new industry to town.”
The city of Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, WorkOne West Central Indiana office and its REACH Center are providing a combined local incentive package valued at $7.6 million. It includes $1.2 million in Tax Increment Financing funds toward land, equipment and capital improvements; proposed $6.1 million, 10-year tax abatements; up to $200,000 in training funds; and assistance from WorkOne.
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