GE Aviation expands two North Carolina plants to meet growing demand for jet engines

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed March 2, 2018 11:18

GE Aviation expands two North Carolina plants to meet growing demand for jet engines

Just five years after breaking ground, GE Aviation is investing an additional $105 million in its Asheville, NC, production facility to meet growing demand for the revolutionary ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components produced at the plant. As part of the investment, GE Aviation will create 131 new jobs at the Asheville facility, a significantly increasing its workforce of 425 employees. GE Aviation also is adding 15 new positions at its West Jefferson, NC, manufacturing plant, which currently employs more than 270.

“We are very pleased to continue expanding our GE Aviation business in Asheville,” said Michael Meguiar, Asheville Plant Leader. “Our site continues to grow as we win components for our next generation of engines such as the GE9X and the CFM LEAP. I’m very proud of the technology advances and the continued competitiveness that our teams have been able to demonstrate.”

GE Aviation’s Asheville and West Jefferson facilities are part of the company’s Global Supply Chain, which includes some 80 facilities in 19 countries employing more than 27,000 people. GE Aviation also operates a component manufacturing facility in Wilmington and an engine assembly plant in Durham. GE Aviation currently employs more than 1,700 people in North Carolina. The Asheville CMC plant, opened in 2014, was the company’s first site to mass produce CMC components for jet engines.

The demand for CMCs is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade driven by rising jet engine production rates, says GE. Each new LEAP engine, produced by CFM International (50/50 joint company of GE and Safran of France) has 18 CMC turbine shrouds, which are stationary parts in the high-pressure turbine that direct air and ensure turbine blade efficiency. LEAP production is accelerating quickly and more than 14,270 engines currently on order. CMCs also are being used in the combustor and high-pressure turbine section of the new GE9X engine under development for the Boeing 777X twin-aisle aircraft. Almost 700 GE9X engines are on order.

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed March 2, 2018 11:18