Tulsa wind tower factory to close in November

Uncertainty over an extension of a federal tax credit for wind generation led the parent company of DMI Industries to sell the business. DMI's Tulsa factory will finish its current orders and is expected to close with the loss of 167 jobs.
by Paul Monies Published: August 8, 2012
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Employees for a manufacturer of towers for wind turbines in Tulsa face an uncertain future after its parent company announced plans to sell the factory and another in North Dakota.

Otter Tail Corp. said uncertainty in the wind industry led it to enter into an agreement to sell DMI Industries for $20 million. The factory in Tulsa, which employs 167 people, will shutter in November after current orders for wind towers are fulfilled. Another factory in West Fargo, N.D., will close in October with the loss of 216 jobs.

Otter Tail said it couldn't disclose the potential buyer. The sale is pending.

“We are hopeful that potential new owners, who produce a variety of large metal manufacturing products, will see the value in our plants and skilled workforce going forward,” the company said in a statement. “We would like to thank our DMI employees for their hard work and dedication over the past many years.”

Otter Tail said DMI employees would receive severance and other career-transition support. Don Hackler, deputy general counsel for the state Commerce Department, said the agency is reviewing the situation to see what services the state can provide affected workers.

DMI opened its Tulsa plant in late 2007. It has received $1.75 million in rebates from the state's Quality Jobs program since 2009, according to Oklahoma Tax Commission records.

Otter Tail pointed to the Dec. 31 expiration of a federal wind production tax credit as part of the reason for the sale of its wind tower business.

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by Paul Monies
Energy Reporter
Paul Monies is an energy reporter for The Oklahoman. He has worked at newspapers in Texas and Missouri and most recently was a data journalist for USA Today in the Washington D.C. area. Monies also spent nine years as a business reporter and...
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