ORLANDO-Capitalizing on a national need for new power plants, Siemens Westinghouse Power Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany-based Siemens AG, is hiring 1,000 technicians, engineers and support staff in Orlando and another 500 at plants in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama and Canada.

The company designs power plants in Orlando and manufactures them at out-of-state sites. In a prepared statement, the company says it has new equipment orders for $4 billion and a backlog of $8.8 billion from previous contracts.

Year-to-date sales are $2 billion. The Orlando division is Siemens AG’s most profitable arm, company officials say.

This is the Siemens Westinghouse’s largest expansion since the parent company, based in Berlin and Munich, paid $1.5 billion to Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Corp. in 1997 for its power generation sector. This division has been operating in Orlando since 1981.

Siemens Westinghouse plans to build a four-story, 225,000-sf building with an estimated hard construction cost of $40 million by early 2003 to complement a four-story, 225,000-sf structure just completed at the same estimated cost in east Orange County near the Central Florida Research Park.

At the park, Siemens leases 80,000 sf on an estimated 10-year renewed lease valued at about $17 million, according to area leasing agents familiar with the east Orange County-University of Central Florida office-industrial submarket.

Siemens would not confirm construction costs which were estimated for GlobeSt.com by area construction industry estimators familiar with comparable projects.

The company also has a telecom-switch plant in suburban Lake Mary, FL. Siemens Westinghouse’s current staff of 7,885 is comprised of 3,500 workers in Orlando; 1,400 in suburban Lake Mary, FL; 1,000 in Ontario, Canada; 835 in Charlotte; 400 each in Fort Payne, AL and Alpharetta, GA; and 350 in Winston-Salem, NC.

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