Pet Food

Energy Manufacturer Announces Overhaul of Former Pet Food Plant, Adds 315 Jobs in New Mexico

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Former dog food plant

A manufacturer of cable for renewable energy sites plans to bring hundreds of jobs to southern New Mexico, company officials announced.

WTEC Energy Corp. plans to overhaul a former pet food plant in Chamberino, a rural community located between Las Cruces, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. The New Jersey-based company produces wire, cable, and steel — particularly the wire cable used to power solar energy facilities and wind turbines.

State and local officials told reporters that WTEC expects to add 315 jobs and generate more than $400 million in economic activity over the next 10 years.

Kevin Bate, WTEC’s executive vice president, told the Albuquerque Journal that the company sought to expand into the western U.S., where most of its wind and solar customers are located. The company currently produces most of its cable in Florida; its steel is manufactured at two sites in Texas.

Bate partly credited state and local funding for the decision to expand to New Mexico instead of competing sites in Texas. The company is slated to receive $2 million in state jobs funding and $100,000 from a regional economic development fund.

Local officials noted that the WTEC project was just the latest manufacturing expansion in the area from companies aiming to expand their operations on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico.

“We’re seeing a huge amount of manufacturing companies looking to the United States, and specifically to this region,” Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes told the Journal.

Image Credit: Nathan J. Fish / Sun-News

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