Contracts to help build Foxconn Technology Group's planned flat-screen manufacturing complex in Mount Pleasant will be awarded in quick succession beginning this spring, a leader of the company's construction management team said Wednesday.
"It's go time, and so you're going to see things come out at a rapid pace," Adam Jelen, senior vice president with Gilbane Building Co., told more than 150 potential contractors and suppliers at an information session on the next round of bids on the much-watched project.
Up next will be invitations to bid on initial construction work for Foxconn's planned display-panel factory and a power substation designed to supply electricity to what is envisioned as a complex covering about 1,000 acres. Numerous small bid packages will be unveiled over the second quarter of the year, Jelen said.
"They're going to come fast and furious," he told the crowd, gathered at Gateway Technical College's S.C. Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant for the first of four information sessions on the next phase of bidding.
The first contracts to be awarded on the display-panel factory, or "fab," will be for excavation, foundations, waterproofing and testing. The fab will include multiple buildings on a pad of crushed, compacted gravel that appears to be at least 60 acres in size.
Also set to be awarded in the second quarter are contracts for such aspects of the power substation as concrete, mechanical, plumbing and electrical work.
A subsequent set of contracts, to be awarded in the second and third quarters, involve highly technical work on the fab, including a high tech wastewater treatment system.
Foxconn's large water demands, and the potential wastewater it would produce, have been questioned by environmental groups.
Foxconn has said it intends to sharply cut both wastewater and the volume of water it would need to draw from Lake Michigan with a system known as zero liquid discharge.
Despite its plans to downsize the size of its manufacturing operations to a so-called Generation 6 factory, or “fab,” the company said it intends to stick with its plans to use the water saving technology.
“Foxconn’s plans to adopt a zero liquid discharge (ZLD) system at the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park remain unchanged," the company said.
In such a system, wastewater is eliminated from manufacturing processes by distilling and recycling water inside the plant.
When it first announced its plans for zero liquid discharge, Foxconn said the technology would reduce the company's water use from 6 million gallons a day to 2.5 million gallons a day.
Besides the zero-liquid discharge treatment system, the subsequent contracts to be awarded include work on chemical, specialty gas and ultra-pure water systems.
Foxconn last week awarded nearly $34 million in contracts to five Wisconsin companies for utility and road work at the site.