GE Aviation recently announced that the company will be investing more than $200 million to create two new adjacent factories in Huntsville, Alabama. The plants will produce silicon carbide (SiC) materials used to manufacture ceramic matrix composite components (CMCs) for jet engines and land-based gas turbines. When the factories become operational, they are expected to employ up to 300 people.

"Establishing the new GE factories in Alabama is a very significant step in developing the supply chain we need in order to produce CMC components in large volume," said GE Aviation vice president.

One plant will produce silicon carbide ceramic fiber. It will be the first such operation in the United States. Currently, the only large-scale SiC ceramic fiber factory in the world is operated by NGS Advanced Fibers in Japan, which is a joint company of Nippon Carbon, GE and Safran of France.

The adjacent GE factory will use the SiC ceramic fiber to produce the unidirectional CMC tape necessary to fabricate CMC components.

Construction of the two plants will begin in 2016, with production projected to start in 2018. GE has already begun hiring the technical team that will transfer to the Huntsville operation. GE expects to hire the hourly workforce in late 2016.

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