Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. is investing $30 million to create a space at its Worcester plant for the production of plastic materials used as components in flexible and rigid solar modules.
Renewable energy is a priority for Saint-Gobain. We are investing to ensure that our manufacturing capabilities grow to meet the needs of this expanding market, and of the solar energy market in particular, Julia DiCorleto, Saint-Gobain's director of photovoltaics, said in a news release.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to begin this summer and will include the conversion of 30,000 square feet of warehouse space. It will be converted to space for new manufacturing lines, new offices and storage space and other site improvements.
Engineering work already is under way and the new lines could be operational by early fall.
DiCorletto said that Saint-Gobain expects to create 50 new jobs by 2011, depending on market conditions. The company currently has 57 employees at the Plantation Street site.
Saint-Gobain has a long history here in our city and their commitment to grow their operations here speaks volumes of their confidence in our community, Michael O'Brien, city manager, said in a statement.
The company has been working with city and state officials on a tax-incentive plan for growing and adding jobs. The plan still needs to be approved by the Worcester City Council.
DiCorleto said that Worcester was chosen based on the region's infrastructure, access to a skilled and motivated workforce and a positive relationship with city and state officials who want more green jobs.
The site also is not far from the company's state-of-the-art research and development center in Northborough, which underwent a $15 million expansion starting in August 2008.