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State officials on industry recruiting trip to Europe

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Gov. Bob Riley and other top state officials announced an industry recruitment trip to Europe one day after German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG narrowed its search for a plant site to Alabama and Louisiana.

Riley announced Thursday that he will be leaving Saturday with Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., House Speaker Seth Hammett, Alabama Development Office Director Neal Wade and Transportation Director Joe McInnes. The state officials will be accompanied by Alabama Power President Charles McCrary and other business leaders.

Riley said the Alabama delegation will meet with executives of several companies that are looking to locate operations in the United States.

“We can’t provide specifics because the state has signed confidentiality agreements with each of these major companies,” Riley said in a statement.

On Wednesday, ThyssenKrupp AG, based in Duesseldorf, announced Alabama was one of the two finalists for a $2.9 billion steel and stainless steel manufacturing site.

Alabama has been trying to attract the company to Mobile, with the plant expected to employ 2,700 workers when completed in 2010.

Riley’s communications director, Jeff Emerson, said the Alabama delegation will visit at least two countries.

The group plans to return from Europe on Feb. 14.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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