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Deal with Downstate cable plant to bring 1,450 jobs

Updated: March 6, 2012 3:36PM

Officials say a deal between an Illinois power cable manufacturing plant and a Texas company means 1,450 jobs in Illinois and a step toward improving wind energy.

The agreement involves Georgia-based Southwire Company, which has a plant in Downstate Flora,about 440 miles south of Chicago, and Houston-based Clean Line Energy Partners. It was announced Tuesday during a wind energy conference in Chicago.

Southwire’s Illinois plant will manufacture 500 miles of overhead transmission cable to deliver 3,500 megawatts of power from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota to Illinois and beyond.

Construction could begin as early as 2014 for the three-year labor agreement.

It’ll be called The Rock Island Clean Line Transmission Project. It’s expected to cost nearly $2 billion.

Gov. Pat Quinn says the project provides infrastructure for boosting wind manufacturing.

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