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North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and ABB, the global leader in power and automation technology, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new high-voltage cable manufacturing plant in Huntersville today.

The new facility, located at the Commerce Station Business Park, will supply high-voltage and extra high-voltage transmission cables to carry electric power underground. These smart grid-compliant cables, for use in both AC and DC applications, will strengthen America’s energy infrastructure and enable power from renewable resources, like wind and solar, to reach homes and businesses. ABB is investing approximately $90 million in the new manufacturing facility, which will employ more than 100 people in various professional and technical fields.

“These are the sort of 21st century jobs that are not only putting North Carolinians back to work but are helping our state steadily climb out of the recession,” Gov. Perdue said. “The workers in these new jobs will be building the smart grid, and we welcome companies like ABB that are willing to invest in our state and position North Carolina as a leader in the power industry.”

The ceremony today was held at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) North Campus in Huntersville. Following brief presentations by Gov. Perdue and executives with CPCC, ABB and town officials, guests traveled to the nearby Commerce Station Business Park to witness ABB officially break ground on the facility, which is scheduled to open by late 2012.

The facility is the newest addition to Charlotte’s new Energy Hub, an initiative to increase the Charlotte area’s role in the energy industry nationwide and create a sustainable economic plan. It is projected that the building of the plant will contribute more than $20 million to the local economy, and once running, more than $5 million annually. It is also projected that for every job created at the plant, another would be created in the surrounding area to meet the increased demand for everything from groceries to healthcare services.

“We welcome ABB as yet another key player in our growing and vibrant energy sector. Their decision to build their North American cable operations in Charlotte-Mecklenburg clearly demonstrates our competitiveness in becoming an emerging energy capital in the U.S.,” said Bob Morgan, president, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.

“ABB has enjoyed working with the N.C. Department of Commerce, Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the town of Huntersville to make this day possible,” said Enrique Santacana, President and CEO of ABB Inc. and Region Manager for North America. “Huntersville is an excellent choice for our new cable factory because it offers top-notch engineering talent and training capabilities at local colleges. This, in combination with proximity to first-rate transportation and an attractive living environment, makes Huntersville an ideal location.”

Following the plant’s construction, hiring will begin in the second half of 2011. Job opportunities will be posted in the Careers section of ABB's website at www.abb.us/careers and the N.C. Employment Security Commission’s website at www.ncesc.com.

ABB already employs over 1,500 people state-wide in manufacturing and other facilities, including Cary, Raleigh, Pinetops, Kings Mountain, Weaverville and Marion. ABB’s North American corporate headquarters are located in Cary and its North American Power headquarters are in Raleigh.

ABB, the world’s leading provider of transmission and distribution (T&D) equipment for the power grid, has pioneered power transmission technologies since the 1950’s, when it delivered the world’s first commercial HVDC (high-voltage direct current) power link. The company developed HVDC Light® in the 1990s, enabling underground and undersea power transmission over long distances. ABB recently commissioned the world’s longest and most powerful transmission link, delivered the world’s longest underwater power link in 2008, and is currently connecting the world’s most remote offshore wind farm.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 124,000 people. The company's North American operations, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, employ over 18,000 people in multiple manufacturing, service and other major facilities.
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