Kestrel Aircraft Corp., which had been courted by the developers of the former Brunswick naval air base, is instead expanding in Wisconsin.

A press release from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced today the company would build the next generation of commercial aircraft in Superior, Wis., creating up to 600 jobs there.

The company was wooed with a combination of tax credits, low-interest loans and federal assistance, the release said.

“I am pleased with the aggressive package we have put forth in conjunction with strong local support to make this major job creation contribution to Superior,” said Walker. “This relocation will be a huge boost to the Superior-area economy.”

Wisconsin plans to offer $18 million in state tax credits and up to $4 million in low-cost loans in addition to pursuing $30 million in federal tax credits.

The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is redeveloping the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, now named Brunswick Landing and the Kestrel expansion was a key prospect.

“Certainly, we’re disappointed,” said Peter Rogers, a spokesman for Gov. Paul LePage. “The administration has been working with these folks for a long time. (The governor) talked to them a week or so ago and let them know was in place, everything was good to go.”

While the primary manufacturing will be in Wisconsin, the finishing work will be completed in Maine, according to Steve Levesque, executive director of the redevelopment authority. Levesque said the company told him that aspect of the work would involve about 100 jobs in Maine.

In July 2010, the company announced that it would develop a composite-airplane manufacturing plant in Brunswick. The $100 million project called for about 300 new jobs. Workers in Brunswick would build airplane parts and assemble the turboprop engine planes, designed for as many as eight passengers.

A company spokeswoman said in October that the project was heavily reliant on federal tax credits.

The New Market Tax Credit program – which Wisconsin officials also intend to pursue – would have given Kestrel $39 million in tax credits for the Maine project. But so far, Kestrel has received only $7.8 million in tax credits, and company officials said they learned last fall that there are no guarantees that more credits will be coming in the future in Brunswick.

The New Market program is designed to bring jobs and investment to low-income or distressed areas.

Kestrel Aeroworks, the company’s tool maker and engineering arm, employs 25 at the former air base.

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