Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Inc. is set to begin construction in early 2011 on the third and final stage of its $325 million factory complex outside of Savannah, two years ahead of schedule.

The company’s board approved construction plans last week for its first gas turbine assembly plant outside of Japan, rounding out a project that will create 500 jobs once it is fully operational.

Peggy Jolley, an economic development manager for Georgia Power who worked to bring Mitsubishi to the region, told GlobalAtlanta that the announcement is ahead of schedule and comes just one year after the company broke ground in September 2009.

Mitsubishi has already completed the first stage of its complex, a facility making gas turbine components, and is scheduled to complete the second stage, a service and repair facility, in 2011.

Ms. Jolley said that Mitsubishi has already hired 100 people for the complex mostly from the surrounding area.

Located on the Pooler, Ga., “mega site,” a 1,500-acre site near the intersection of Interstates 95 and 16, the complex was selected by Mitsubishi for its proximity to the Port of Savannah, said Ms. Jolley.

“It’s the first location on the mega site, and that in itself is exciting for Savannah,” said Brynn Grant, vice president of the Savannah Economic Development Authority. The site has been empty since DaimlerChrysler AG ended plans to build there in 2003.

Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, a subsidiary of Japan‘s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., produces power-generation equipment including gas, steam and wind turbines. Based in Lake Mary, Fla., the company also has facilities in Houston, Newport Beach, Calif., and Juarez, Mexico.

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