GE Aviation, a global leader in jet engines and aircraft systems, announced today at ceremonies here that it will break ground this year on a new $100 million jet engine assembly facility in neighboring Lafayette, Indiana.
It becomes the seventh new GE Aviation facility in the U.S. in the past seven years – joining sites in Batesville, MS; Auburn, AL; Greenville, SC; Dayton, Ohio; Ellisville, MS; and Asheville, NC. These facilities support more than 2,500 new U.S. jobs and investment in more than 1 million square feet of new facilities. Between 2013 and 2017, GE Aviation expects to invest more than $3.5 billion in plant and equipment at its sites worldwide, with most of the investment in the U.S.
The new 225,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette will assemble the new LEAP engine of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma (Safran) of France. CFM has logged total orders and commitments with airlines for more than 6,000 LEAP jet engines – and it does not enter service until 2016. It will power new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, and COMAC (China) C919 aircraft for airlines worldwide. Click here for photos from the event.
Launched in 2008, the LEAP is now undergoing development testing. As the engine transitions to the production phase, GE could begin hiring at the new Lafayette facility as early as 2015. Within five years, the plant’s workforce is expected to exceed 200 people with the capacity to do final assembly for the engine as well as the engine’s hot section (compressor, combustor, high-pressure turbine).“We are thrilled by the airline industry’s enthusiasm for the new LEAP engine and its groundbreaking technologies,” said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Beginning in 2015, the LEAP engine will experience a dramatic production ramp-up for the remainder of the decade. We are grateful to the entire Indiana team for ensuring that our Lafayette assembly plant will be soon up and running.”