updated: 2/16/2004 7:43:42 AM

Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire to Consolidate Operations to Fort Wayne

 to Governor Kernan talk about the significance of Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire consolidating its North American operations in Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind., February 13, 2004 – Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire Company will invest at least $1.5 million in its Fort Wayne facility during the next two years and remains committed to the Fort Wayne area, President Richard Habegger announced today.

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Habegger praised the City of Fort Wayne and economic development organizations at the local and state level for their continuing efforts to improve Indiana’s economy and business climate.

“If our business achieves our aggressive sales objectives during the next few years, we could be looking at even greater investments in Fort Wayne,” Habegger said. “We appreciate the variety of economic development tools offered locally and at the state level in Indiana. These include assistance such as training funds and tax credits and abatements that support business and make it attractive for us to invest in our Fort Wayne facility.”

Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire has manufacturing operations in Mureck, Austria, and Monterrey, Mexico, and is building a new facility in Suzhou, China. Employment in Fort Wayne totals 274. Phelps Dodge is consolidating its North American manufacturing facilities and will close its plant in El Paso, Tex., by the end of 2004. That action is being taken because of reduced magnet wire demand resulting from the decline of a North American customer base.

“Our decision to focus additional resources in Fort Wayne is made easier by the continued assistance we receive from the City of Fort Wayne and economic development organizations at the local and state level,” Habegger said. “We were especially pleased to be able to talk with Indiana Lt. Gov. Kathy Davis during her recent visit to Fort Wayne, when we were able to broaden her understanding of the opportunities and challenges we face. I was delighted that she was able to identify state resources that are available to help us sustain our competitive position in Fort Wayne.”

Lt. Gov. Davis said: “Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire is part of what makes Fort Wayne the Magnet Wire Capital of the World. We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all the men and women who are helping to keep Phelps Dodge a global leader in the production of copper and aluminum magnet wire. The State of Indiana will do everything possible to help the company remain a global leader.”

“Today’s announcement is more good economic news for Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana,” added Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard. “These are the kinds of actions by existing, local employers that underscore our commitment to keeping and growing local companies. We’re proud to partner with Phelps Dodge to secure this growth opportunity.” The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance is assisting Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire in its investigation of all available state and local programs designed to retain and grow the company.

About Phelps Dodge Corp. and Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire Co.

Phelps Dodge Corp. is the world’s second-largest producer of copper, a world leader in the production of molybdenum, the largest producer of molybdenum-based chemicals and continuous-cast copper rod, and among the leading producers of magnet wire and carbon black. Phelps Dodge Magnet Wire Co. offers a full line of copper and aluminum wire in round and shaped sizes, continuously transposed cable, QuantumShield for inverter duty motors, and ToughWire for difficult winding applications. More information is available at www.phelpsdodge.com.

Source: Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance

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