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The Timken Co., a provider of friction management and power transmission products and services based in Canton, Ohio, has announced plans to expand production capacity at its Tyger River facility in Union, S.C., to serve the wind energy market. The investment is part of a strategy to strengthen Timken's position to serve growing global demand for highly engineered large-bore bearings that will help customers harness wind power.

Timken expects demand for large-bore bearings used in main-rotor shafts and gear drives in wind turbines to grow rapidly in the coming years, as reliance on renewable energy increases. The Tyger River investment will allow the company to serve demand from North American customers and provide expanded capability to produce prototypes in support of new wind-turbine programs.

"We stand to achieve greater returns by refocusing existing assets and investing in new capacity to serve our most promising market sectors, which certainly includes wind energy," says James W. Griffith, Timken's president and CEO.

Expansion work at Timken's Tyger River location will begin in 2009, with production currently slated for 2010. It will be the company's second wind-related commitment of the past year, following formation of a joint venture with China's XEMC to build a new main-shaft bearing facility in Xiangtan, Hunan province.

SOURCE: The Timken Co.

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