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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 6:47pm

Full Steam Ahead At Mitsubishi Plant

Mitsubishi Power is ahead of schedule building its electrical turbine manufacturing facility on the coast.

Company officials plan to celebrate their progress Wednesday.

The Japanese heavy equipment maker will mark the end of one phase of construction and the beginning of another at its plant in Pooler near Savannah.

Once complete next-year, the $300 million dollar facility will employ more than 200 workers in high-paying fields like engineering.

Mitsubishi Power Marketing Director William Ray says, the company is ramping up its Savannah employment.

"We'll be shortly getting our license to go ahead and inhabit the building," says Ray. "We're starting to move equipment in."

Local officials say, the company is about a year ahead of its originally projected timetable.

Lynn Pitts of the Savannah Economic Development Authority says, it's a welcome sign in the economy.

"Advanced manufacturing, high value added products are really making a huge comeback in the U.S.," Pitts says. "And if you add on top of that what's going on at Gulfstream, that seems to be pretty solid proof to me."

Nearby Gulfstream Aerospace also is expanding.

At their Savannah facility, Mitsubishi Power will make make massive turbines to run in gas, wind, geothermal and hydro-powered electric plants.