Commerce paves way for SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers to double production in Moses Lake

Plant expansion brings $100 million in private investment, adds advanced manufacturing jobs, and strengthens Washington state’s position as one of the world’s leading locations for cost-effective carbon fiber production

OLYMPIA – SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture with German luxury automaker BMW, will invest $100 million to add two new production lines at their Moses Lake plant in a project of statewide significance, Commerce Director Brian Bonlender announced today. The company will double production capacity of their current operation, opened in 2012, in order to supply all of the raw carbon fiber used in BMW’s new electric vehicles.

“This expansion represents another exciting milestone for SGL and our state. Washington is a perfect match for companies dedicated to sustainable, innovative and high-quality industrial production, and I couldn’t be more pleased to participate in the development of this sector that is so important to the economic future of our entire state,” said Governor Jay Inslee.

SGL has been in discussions with Governor Inslee, Bonlender and local economic development leaders working to expand this ongoing partnership.  Inslee traveled to New York for the public rollout of the BMW i3 earlier this year to discuss the Moses Lake expansion and speak alongside the president of BMW.

“The SGL project aligns perfectly with Washington’s economic development comprehensive plan — it is an ideal example of the cutting edge industries that we must compete for in order to secure our state’s long-term prosperity in the global innovation economy,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.

The project of statewide significance designation is prescribed in state law to provide for coordinated efforts such as streamlined permitting in support of industrial development with broad and lasting economic benefits. Partners in the project include Grant County Economic Development, the City and Port of Moses Lake.

“I’m happy to congratulate SGL on their plant expansion. SGL continues to play a major role in the City of Moses Lake, Grant County and Washington State’s economy. The City of Moses Lake will continue working with its partners to support SGL’s long term growth in our region,” said Bill Ecret, Mayor, City of Moses Lake.

“This designation by the State will accelerate SGL’s expansion to meet market demand for a great new BMW automobile, one built with the least-cost and greenest industrial power in the U.S., right here in Moses Lake,” said Patrick Jones, Executive Director of the Port of Moses Lake. The SGL plant is located in the Port’s airport industrial area.

Washington State’s reputation as one of the world’s premier locations for carbon fiber production and other advanced manufacturing activities is becoming more powerful every day, added Bonlender, who is returning this week from a trade mission to Japan and China with Governor Inslee and some 100 business, education and government leaders from our state.

A combination of abundant, inexpensive hydroelectric power, commitment to sustainable industrial development, and the world’s largest and most highly-skilled workforce built over 100 years of aerospace leadership, place Washington state in a unique position to capture future advanced manufacturing operations and jobs. Boeing 777x wing assembly and aircraft production in Snohomish County was the first ever proposal to receive the statewide significance designation from Commerce.

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