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Let the jobs begin: Wellsville’s Ljungstrom, Riggs Distler starting 200,000 hours of work preparing for record contract

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In this photo from 2020, a 200,000 Pound weldment, a primary load-bearing component to an air heater, moves through the Wellsville shop.

By John Anderson, 10/15/21

While the 100 jobs in Wellsville to start building structures for the largest wind development contract in state history will not be filled for 18 months, the anticipated jobs and growth to prepare is starting today.

LJUNGSTRÖM Steel Fabricators in Wellsville announced today they are “excited” to have signed a contract with Riggs Distler & Company “to provide specialized structural steelwork for New York’s Sunrise Wind project.”

The fabricators said, “The project requires additional workforce and expansion to our manufacturing plant in Wellsville, NY, where we will provide prefabricated steel components, including internal platforms and anode cage assemblies that are a fundamental element of the wind farm’s turbine foundations.”

Riggs Distler said they will spend an anticipated 277,000 person-hours on the project, which will provide the New York Power Grid 924 Megawatts of renewable energy. LJUNGSTRӦM will partner to contribute another 200,000 person-hours to pre-fabricate steel components. The Smulders Group, a leading manufacturer of offshore foundations, has signed a transfer of technology agreement with Riggs Distler and LJUNGSTRӦM to support the project with key knowledge transfer.

Riggs Distler is vetting additional opportunities for local construction, manufacturing, and transportation companies to support the procurement and supply of materials in the state.

Riggs Distler President and CEO Stephen M. Zemaitatis, Jr., said they are excited to work on the project and parent with facilities like the former Alstom Air Preheater in Wellsville, now the  LJUNGSTRÖM/Arvos group.

“We’re proud to be the general contractor for the Sunrise Wind farm and pleased to bring our local skilled union workforce to this groundbreaking project,” Zemaitatis said . “Riggs Distler’s leadership team was early to recognize the transformational potential of offshore wind in the United States. As such, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that our company — our team members, current and future, and facilities are ready to help realize the promise of this exciting new industry.”

LJUNGSTRÖM Steel Fabricators specialize in steel fabrications of up to 200,000 pounds, a major factor in landing the contract. 

Work to take on the project and new jobs will begin with the Riggs Distler project, and Alfred State College has been awarded $1.4 million to hire staff to train and teach students specifically for the $86 million Sunrise Wind Project.

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