Global Fiberglass Solution, Inc., of Bothell, Wash., has selected the Maytag Plant 2 building for its fiberglass recycling operation and will invest $6 million and create 57 new jobs in the process.
“We’re pleased, we have been working with them for several months,” Newton Development Corporation Executive Director Frank Liebl said. “At first they were just going to make it a storage facility for the blades but after they saw the space they thought it was not only going to be a great place to store but to manufacture.”
The company plans to create an innovative processing and manufacturing facility in Newton using recycled materials, mostly fiberglass, from decommissioned wind blades and other products. Liebl said instead of the waste ending up in landfills, the company repurposes the more than 15,000 pounds of fiberglass per blade into new, useful products including manhole covers, building panels and pellets.
“It keeps the blades out of the landfills and repurposes everything,” Liebl said. “It is really a wonderful company.”
While GFS currently works with a company who takes down blades in Illinois and South Dakota, it is also starting to make connections with local companies that have fiberglass waste.
The move is bolstered by a recent award of direct financial assistance and tax benefits from the Iowa Economic Development Authority board. GFS is one of five companies to receive more than $48 million in new capital investments in the state.
Liebl said the company is working with Phoenix Investors, who owns and is refurbishing the building, to get the space ready with an expectation of some grinding work starting late this year and manufacturing to get underway at the start of 2018.
“This is the first phase of their operations and we are hoping for an expansion to come in the future,” city administrator Matt Muckler said. “The company fits well into Maytag Plant 2, having relationships with other companies in the wind industry.”
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