Perpetua's tribal deal

Perpetua's tribal deal


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The Perpetua site is expected to attract similar renewable energy and recycling projects. Workers at the new plant will assemble the renewable components for wireless sensors.

A partnership between the Coquille Indian Tribe and Perpetua Power Source Technologies will bring a new assembly and production facility to tribal-owned property in North Bend. The plan, which has been in development for a year, will also allow Perpetua to expand the manufacturing capabilities of its renewable thermoelectric technology at Corvallis company headquarters.

Coquille spokesman Ray Doering says the new facility meets the tribe’s sustainability criteria for the 50-acre Ko-Kwel Wharf, which so far is vacant except for an RV lot and the Mill Casino and Hotel. “We are trying to develop the waterfront into an innovation center with businesses such as renewable resource development and clean recycling,” Doering says. The Perpetua plant, which is expected to employ about 30 people, will also provide local jobs “in a community where not a lot of development is taking place,” he says.

The tribe and Perpetua, which makes green components for wireless sensors, would not state the amount of the investment, except to say the partnership will give Coquille a controlling stake in the company. (Perpetua launched in 2005 and currently employs 25 people). “We were looking to carry the lead on series B Funding and the tribe stepped up and said it was interested in being part of the deal,” says Perpetua VP Jerry Wiant.

The plan also includes new manufacturing equipment for the Corvallis plant, and reactivation of Foreign Trade Zone status for the North Bend facility, a designation that would eliminate import tariffs on raw materials. The partnership “is a significant step for both parties,” says Wiant. “We get extra space and the tribe gets to kick off development of the wharf.”

LINDA BAKER