AL: GE Selects Auburn For New Jet Engine Coatings Facility In Alabama

16 Nov, 2010

Construction will begin in 2011 with hiring to start in 2012

GE Aviation has selected Auburn as the site for a new environmental coatings facility for advanced military jet engine components, Governor Bob Riley announced on Tuesday.

GE Aviation selected Auburn based on the area’s access to a strong technical workforce, local government support and employee training opportunities, and close proximity to Auburn University.

At a ceremony last August at the Alabama State Capitol with Governor Riley and GE Aviation President and CEO David Joyce, GE Aviation announced its intention to open a new coatings facility in Alabama.

“The high-tech jobs that are coming to Alabama because of GE Aviation will have a significant impact. Alabama continues to be a prime location for jobs in aviation and aerospace because prestigious international companies like GE recognize we have a talented and skilled workforce, outstanding workforce training programs, and communities that partner with companies to help them be successful,” said Governor Riley.

Auburn Mayor Bill Ham said, “It’s a proud day for Auburn. In the last few years, regardless of national economic conditions, Auburn has received recognition as a great place to live, work and do business. We’ve seen local industry expand and new industry join our community. An announcement like this can’t be made without thanks to Governor Riley and Representative Hubbard, thanks to Dr. Gogue and Auburn University for what they bring to the community, and thanks to Auburn’s Economic Development team for their tireless work to keep Auburn’s economy strong.”

Representative Mike Hubbard of Auburn said, “This is a great win for citizens of Auburn, Lee County and the state of Alabama. GE Aviation’s decision to locate in Auburn brings more jobs to the East Alabama area, as we continue to outperform a sluggish national economy. This location is a testament to the strength of Alabama and to the quality of the greater Auburn community.”

GE Aviation, a GE operating unit based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a world-leading supplier of commercial and military engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft.

Construction of the new 200,000 square-foot facility will begin in 2011 at Auburn Technology Park West, and is expected to open in the 2012 timeframe.

The facility will enhance components for the GE/Rolls-Royce F136 jet engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 program. Initial F136 production will start in 2013.

GE is expected to employ 300 to 400 people when the engine ramps up to full rate production later this decade.

The environmental coatings facility will enhance components for the GE Rolls-Royce F136 jet engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 program.

The JSF F-35, the largest military procurement in U.S. history, is a multi-role aircraft to replace numerous tactical fighter aircraft flying today. Potential F-35 production for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines and international customers is expected to reach more than 5,000 aircraft over 30 years.

The GE/Rolls-Royce F136 engine, currently in development test and preparing for flight test next year, is among the most advanced jet engines ever created. Environmental coatings are key to enhancing the performance and durability of its components. They protect the base metal on components from harsh thermal and corrosive environments.

The F136 engine is a product of the best technology from two world-leading propulsion companies, GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce. F136 engine development is being led at GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio (Cincinnati suburb), and at Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Due to anticipated F136 production volume, GE’s need for developing environmental coatings and associated manufacturing processes continues to grow. The technology requires a highly skilled and flexible workforce, and it will create meaningful collaborative opportunities for Alabama’s university system.

GE Aviation generated revenues of $18.7 billion in 2009. The company also has the largest and fastest-growing installed base of jet engines in commercial aviation and a global services network to support them.

GE Aviation employs approximately 38,000 employees and operates more than 50 manufacturing and service facilities around the world. The company invests $1 billion annually in jet propulsion R&D programs. This long tradition of commitment to new technology has helped GE establish its leadership position in the industry with a proud list of "firsts" in both the military and commercial jet propulsion, tracing back to 1942 with America’s first jet engine.

Created by Thomas Edison, GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.