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Competition to gain Boeing 777X work leads to Alabama meeting (Read More…)

By The Associated Press
November 20, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, ALA. — State and local leaders are working to lure a Boeing Co. aircraft assembly plant to the Huntsville area, which already has a heavy technological and engineering base.
Gov. Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and economic developers met Tuesday in Birmingham with representatives of the aircraft manufacturer.

Battle said Huntsville is one of several cities being considered for a 777X assembly site, and Bentley said the company likes Alabama.

“They don’t need to look at any other state,” said Bentley. “Alabama is the state they need to look at most.”
Boeing said it would consider a new location to build the airplane after union members rejected a proposed contract in Seattle last week.

A gubernatorial aide in Washington state has said that state will likely get competition from places including Alabama, where unions have less of a foothold.

Boeing executives say a decision on a manufacturing location could come by early next year, and Battle said Huntsville could be a good choice since the city is an aeronautical hub and home to engineers who worked on other Boeing aircraft.

“We have some experience of what they are talking about doing. We have been in aeronautics forever and ever. We built the Space Station. Now we are looking at building an airplane,” said Battle.

Battle said it was unclear exactly how many jobs would be associated with the 777X project, but the economic effect would be similar to the last military base realignment that brought 4,800 high-paying Department of Defense jobs to the area.

MUBADALA EYES US FOR INVESTMENT

Meanwhile, the aerospace unit of Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala is targeting acquisitions in the United States to expand its manufacturing capabilities after securing billion-dollar contracts at the Dubai Airshow, it said on Wednesday.

Mubadala Aerospace won industrial orders worth over $5 billion at the air show this week to sell parts and materials to planemakers Boeing and Airbus.

The deals could provide a reciprocal boost to Gulf economies after their state-owned airlines placed blockbuster orders worth about $150 billion at the event.

Mubadala Aerospace, which already builds lightweight parts for Boeing and Airbus, plans to expand its manufacturing operations and also acquire other businesses.

“We have said before that we would put up to $500 million into building facilities and capabilities. Now, I think that number will have to go up,” said Homaid Al Shemmari, executive director of Mubadala Aerospace.

“We want to spend a good percentage of our capital outside the UAE. And I would go for the U.S. to begin with,” Shemmari said.
“I think an acquisition in the U.S. would probably be the best because the UAE currency is pegged to the dollar and that helps me reduce my risks. Also, labor relations in the U.S. are not as complicated as some other parts of the world,” he added.
The company aims to close a deal within the next three years, he said.

Mubadala Aerospace aims to be among the world’s top three manufacturers of composite and metal parts for airplanes by 2020.

 

Posted by Admin on 11/21 at 04:07 PM
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