Bredesen Recruits Clean Energy Sector InvestmentWednesday, June 17, 2009 | 03:04 pm
BIRR, Switzerland - Governor Phil Bredesen toured Alstom’s Turbine and Generator rotor manufacturing operation Tuesday in Birr, Switzerland. The tour of the Swiss power company is one of Bredesen’s recruiting efforts to expand European investment in Tennessee’s clean energy sector. The Alstom manufacturing operation is known worldwide for producing equipment used in coal, gas and nuclear plants.
“I’ve long said that it makes sense for Tennessee to redouble its effort to recruit new business, even though the global economy is in recession,” Bredesen said. “The people of Tennessee need higher skilled, good paying jobs, and now is not the time to pull back or retrench.”
Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber and Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr accompanied Bredesen on the European trade mission. In Birr, the delegation met with a group of fellow Tennesseans employed by Alstom in Chattanooga, Tenn. The workers were training for jobs back home at the parent company's Swiss location, which makes energy efficient turbines for the nuclear industry.
Following the visit, the delegation is headed for Munich, Germany to visit with company officials from Wacker Chemie AG, which earlier this year announced a $1 billion dollar investment in a polysilicon manufacturing facility to be located in Cleveland, Tenn. The company plans to build a facility for the manufacture of hyperpure polycrystalline silicon, a primary component in the manufacture of photovoltaic cells for solar energy.
The trade mission will conclude with a trip to Warsaw, Poland where the delegation will be hosted by U.S. Ambassador and former Knoxville Mayor Ashe. In Warsaw, Bredesen will be briefed on business opportunities in Poland by the U.S. Department of Commerce and business leaders from the Polish American Chamber of Commerce.