By John Kenyon

IOWA CITY – The North American Ductile Iron Co. (Nadicom) has announced plans to build its first North American ductile iron castings foundry in Iowa City, locating here to capitalize on the growing wind-energy market.

The Nadicom foundry will have the capacity to cast and machine large castings with an initial focus on the wind turbine market. The $85 million casting facility plans to employ 175.

Nadicom CEO Prasad Karunakaran said multiple factors were considered when choosing this location.

“We plan to build this operation from the ground up and wanted a location that would allow us to leverage our location to maximize productivity,” said Mr. Karunakaran in a press release.  “This Iowa City site provided a central location, complete with rail and other logistical considerations, and access to a world-class workforce.”

He added that utility rates from MidAmerican Energy were very competitive and said the state’s 260E job training program with Kirkwood Community College will be of assistance.

The Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group, the city of Iowa City and the State of Iowa have been in discussions with Nadicom since August.

“We are working with the city of Iowa City to help Nadicom develop their site plan in the city’s Wind Energy Supply Chain Campus near the Scott Six business park,” said ICAD President Joe Raso in a press release.

Both the city and state have pledged to work with the company to begin operations by 2013, subject to final approvals at the state and city level.