WESTBORO, MA-Completing what vice president of corporate communications Jeff Nestel-Patt tells Globest.com is the “only facility of its kind in the world”, American Superconductor Corp. is preparing to begin production of its high-efficiency electrical wire sometime in the first quarter of 2002 at its brand new, $85-million plant.

To date no other company is capable of manufacturing the wire on such a grand scale. The 345,000-sf plant located on the old Ft. Devens Army base was designed by the Worcester, MA architectural firm of Cutler Associates Inc. Cutler also served as the general contractor for construction of the plant along with the engineering design firm of Fluor Daniels.

Groundbreaking on the project was in August of 2000 and the building was completed in only 15 months. According to Nestel-Patt, construction came in exactly on budget. The bulk of the 345,000 sf will be used for manufacturing with office space limited to about 100 people. The company was attracted to the Fort Devens Industrial complex by a combination of state incentives and a desire to keep the headquarter building in its current Westboro location. The Devens Enterprise Commission, which was unavailable for comment, reacted enthusiastically to the finished building in a statement given prior to the opening.

Nestel-Patt tells Globest.com that with low finance rates and the availability of the site the company decided to go ahead and build the new plant rather than look for a lease deal. The new plant will eventually have the capability of producing 20,000 kilometers of wire per year as opposed to the 500 kilometers of wire that the company can manufacture at the existing Westboro plant. American Superconductor hopes to have about 220 people working at the largely automated plant by the year 2003.

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