| NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina
NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina Feb 19 A plan
by Japan's Toray Industries Inc to build a $1 billion
carbon fiber manufacturing plant in South Carolina is among the
"proactive efforts" to support Boeing Co's drive to ramp
up its production of 787 Dreamliners, Boeing said on Wednesday.
Toray and state officials said this week that the company
had purchased 400 acres in Spartanburg County, South Carolina,
for a factory that will create 500 new jobs.
The investment of $1 billion over the next decade will
establish an advanced material base closer to where Boeing
builds the high-tech Dreamliner.
Toray supplies carbon fiber material pre-impregnated with
epoxy resin used to make the body and wings of the Dreamliner,
which are lighter and more fuel-efficient than metal planes.
"Toray is an important supplier on the 787 program, and we
support its proactive efforts in regard to the program's planned
rates of more than 10 (airplanes) a month," Boeing spokeswoman
Candy Eslinger said.
Toray said in January that it plans to expand its carbon
fiber production plant in Tacoma, Washington. The company said
the expansion was in response to Boeing's decision to raise the
number of 787s it builds to 12 a month in 2016.
"South Carolina offers Toray Industries an ideal location
for our next North American manufacturing facility," Akihiro
Nikkaku, president of Toray Industries, said in a statement.
"Here we will have proximity to major customers, both in the
U.S. and in Latin American markets."
More than 1,000 787s have been ordered by about 60 airlines
Boeing's South Carolina facility, located in North
Charleston, makes all aft and midbody fuselage sections for the
787. Most of those sections are shipped to Everett, Washington,
for final assembly of the airplane, with the remainder assembled
into finished planes in South Carolina.
South Carolina aims to build three finished jets a month by
mid-year, with Everett producing seven, Boeing said.
The company's goal is to build a dozen 787s a month by
mid-2016 and 14 a month by the end of the decade.
Boeing's ability to churn out the Dreamliner is crucial to
its financial performance this year as the company is relying on
commercial jetliners to offset a weak defense business. While
Boeing still loses money on each 787 that it builds, it gets
closer to breaking even as production increases.
The South Carolina plant recently hired hundreds of
contract workers to help it catch up on a backlog of thousands
of 787 assembly work orders. The effort is expected to take
months, sources said.