GE Aviation Opens Composites Factory

April 30, 2013

--New Ellisville facility expects to hire 250 employees by 2017, represents $56M investment in Jones County

--GE's second composites plant in Mississippi for a growing industry

ELLISVILLE, Mississippi - GE Aviation celebrated in Ellisville today the grand opening of its second aviation composites factory in Mississippi – an investment that will add hundreds of new jobs in the state.

For the festivities, GE Aviation president and CEO David Joyce joined Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo.

The new 340,000-square-foot facility will be referred to as GE Aviation's Ellisville Composites facility, and it will manufacture and assemble new composite components that are unique in the aviation industry.

GE Aviation, a world-leading producer of jet engines, already employs more than 450 people at a factory near Batesville in northwest Mississippi, which opened in 2008. This factory is involved in the assembly of large front fans for jet engines as well as the production of composite components.

With the opening of Ellisville, GE Aviation will add up to 40 jobs in 2013. Based on current demand for its jet engines, GE expects hiring to reach 250 employees in Ellisville by 2017.

"Today is an exciting day for Ellisville, Jones County and the entire state as GE Aviation opens the doors to its second Mississippi facility," Governor Bryant said. "I appreciate the contributions this exemplary corporate citizen has made to our state, and I thank GE Aviation officials for continuing to invest in Mississippi."

"GE Aviation’s growing partnership with the state of Mississippi is creating long-term economic growth," said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation. "We couldn't be happier with our Batesville operation, and we look forward to the growth of our new Ellisville operation."

Ellisville employees are being trained in team-building and advanced manufacturing processes, with assistance from the Mississippi Polymer Institute at The University of Southern Mississippi and The Advanced Technology Center at Jones County Junior College. The plant delivers its first components in 2013.

"This new facility is a testament to South Mississippi's expanding aerospace corridor, business-friendly climate, and the work of our institutions of higher education to train and equip a world-class workforce. GE has made a solid investment in Jones County that is sure to pay off many times over," said Congressman Steven Palazzo.

"I applaud GE Aviation's decision to expand its operations in Mississippi," said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. "The new facility in Ellisville will bring hundreds of good, high-paying jobs to working families. This investment will strengthen our state’s partnership with one of the world’s great companies. I know our highly skilled workforce will meet the challenge."

The facility will produce composite parts for two new engine programs: the best-selling LEAP™ jet engine being developed by CFM, a joint company of GE and Snecma (SAFRAN) of France and GE's new Passport™ jet engine. Ellisville will manufacture fan platforms (installed between the engine's front fan blades) for the LEAP-1A and the LEAP-1C, which will power Airbus's A320neo and COMAC'S C919 respectively. Ellisville will also manufacture the inlet for the Passport™ engine which was selected by Bombardier to power the Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets. The inlet is a single-piece component that is located in the front of the Nexcelle* nacelle system and directs airflow into the engine.

In addition to jet engine components, Ellisville will manufacture the transcowl, a component of the thrust reverser, which is located in the rear of the nacelle for Airbus's A320neo.

The specific type of composite material that will be made at Ellisville is known as polymer matrix composites (PMCs). PMCs are made of carbon fiber fabric and polymer resin and fabricated by using advanced technology in manufacturing processes and equipment.

Since announcing plans in 2011 to locate in Ellisville, GE has worked closely with the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA). This relationship was established in 2006 when GE announced plans to open its Batesville facility.

"I am confident GE Aviation will enjoy the same success in Ellisville that it has in Batesville," said Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Brent Christensen. "I am glad the Mississippi Development Authority was able to assist GE Aviation in expanding into Jones County, and we appreciate our partners in Ellisville and Jones County who have worked so hard to help make this new facility a reality."

GE develops and produces the world's most advanced composite components for jet engines and aircraft systems. Composite components provide greater durability and engine weight savings, which translate into better aircraft fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance and replacement costs.

To date, CFM has logged orders for more than 4,500 LEAP engines. This record backlog will ensure a stable workload at Ellisville for years to come. The Ellisville plant is also expected to produce other composite components in the future for GE's newest commercial jet engines and aircraft systems.

GE Aviation generated revenues of $20 billion in 2012. 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 40,000 people and operates more than 80 facilities around the world.

The company invests $1 billion annually in jet propulsion research and development (R&D) programs. This long tradition of commitment to new technology has helped GE maintains its leadership position within the industry with a list of "firsts" in both military and commercial jet propulsion, tracing back to 1942 with America's first jet engine.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet, turboprop and turboshaft engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.

To watch a video highlighting the Auburn facility, please Click here.