September 24-25, 2011
Copyright © 2011
Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.
Chinese solar company buys former IBM West campus
POUGHKEEPSIE – The former IBM East Fishkill West Campus has been purchased by Chinese company Linuo Solar Group, which will use the giant facility as its US headquarters and manufacturing facility. The announcement was made amid much fanfare at Marist College in Poughkeepsie on Friday.
Linuo purchased the abandoned campus in East Fishkill, and plans to invest $100 million, bringing up to 1,000 new jobs to the Mid Hudson Valley.
Dr. Bevan Zhang, Linuo's international director, thanked state and local leaders for their assistance in bringing his company to New York. Company executives visited California, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Florida and New Jersey, before choosing New York as their American headquarters. "We get all kinds of entertainment, parties," Zhang recalled, "even bring us to NBA game."
He cited a number of officials for making the deal reality.
“I would like to thank the leadership of Governor Cuomo and feel that under that leadership, New York is the state, very friendly and a place that can be very enjoyable to business here,” Zhang said.
He cited the cooperation of Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, Congressman Maurice Hinchey, the Empire State Development Corp., Central Hudson, and The Solar Energy Consortium of Kingston (TSEC), as instrumental in Linuo's decision to base their U.S. operations in Dutchess County. The Mid-Hudson and Dutchess Economic Development Corporations, and Dutchess Regional Chamber of Commerce were also credited.
TSEC President Vincent Cozzolino said the economic ripple effect will be strong with many local partners in the supply chain.
Linuo was founded in 1994 with $70,000 in startup capital, and less than 50 employees, Zhang said. Today it is a full company with seven subdivisions,
$1.3 billion in revenue, and 30,000 employees. "We wanted to create a product that can be a benefit to improve human life," Zhang noted. "We did that in China" with mass production of affordable silicon tubes, providing hot water to poor neighborhoods. Developed countries in Europe also prefer Linuo's technology, Zhang added.
In the United States, Linuo's products are used in the NYC subway system. Kingston manufacturer SolarTech, located at Tech City (another former IBM plant), will be using Linuo's PV cells to make integrated solar panels.
Zhang and Cozzolino had words of praise for Richard O’Beirne, who acted as a liaison and consultant between TSEC and Linuo. O’Beirne died unexpectedly one week ago.
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