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GE Aerospace To Invest $22M In Castle Hayne Plant

By Emma Dill, posted Mar 13, 2024
GE Aerospace's $650 million investment is set to support the company's manufacturing facilities and supply chains worldwide. (File photo)
GE Aerospace announced plans this week to invest more than $22 million to increase capacity at its Castle Hayne plant.

It’s part of the company’s more extensive plans to invest $650 million this year in manufacturing facilities and supply chains worldwide to “increase production and strengthen quality” to support commercial and defense customers, according to a company news release issued Tuesday.

“GE Aerospace is at the center of the aerospace ramp-up coming out of the pandemic,” a company spokesperson wrote Wednesday in an email to the Business Journal. “Our commercial and military customers are eager to keep their current fleets operating to meet demand and purchase new engines that provide greater efficiency, more range and more capabilities.” 

Ohio-headquartered GE Aerospace plans to invest nearly $450 million in 22 facilities across 14 states. The money will go toward “new machines, inspection equipment, building upgrades, new test cells and safety enhancements,” according to a release. 

“As GE Aerospace prepares to become a standalone company this spring, we are making significant investments in the future of flight and in the dozens of communities and supplier partners helping us build it,” Chairman and CEO of GE and CEO of GE Aerospace, H. Lawrence Culp Jr., stated in the release. 

“These investments are part of the next chapter for GE Aerospace, supporting cutting-edge equipment and safety enhancements that will help us meet our customers’ growing needs.”

In 2021, GE announced plans to split its business into three separate entities focused on aviation, health care and energy. 

Approximately $46 million of the latest investment will be funneled to four North Carolina facilities, which produce parts and assemble engines for aircraft. 

That includes the $22 million slated for GE’s facility located just north of Wilmington at 3901 Castle Hayne Road. The investment will be spent on machines and specialized tooling to increase capacity and building improvements.

The Wilmington plant “plays a critical role in producing parts that go into engines used by our commercial and military customers,” according to the company spokesperson.

“These investments allow us to build on the strong 40-year history we have here in Wilmington to meet our customers’ needs and ensure a bright future for GE Aerospace as we become an independent company,” according to Jackson Autry, site leader at the Wilmington facility.

The company’s Asheville plant is set to receive $11 million for high-precision machines, its Durham facility will receive more than $7 million for tooling and equipment to increase the assembly capacity of engines, and its plant in West Jefferson will get nearly $5 million for quality inspection equipment and high-tech machinery.

GE Aerospace also plans to invest $107 million in facilities in the greater Cincinnati region, $54 million in a plant in Auburn, Alabama and $30 million in a facility in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Approximately $100 million will go to suppliers across the U.S. to help “build and maintain capacity and capabilities needed for sustained growth,” according to the news release. Another $100 million will be invested at international sites in North America, Europe and India to support customers operating around the globe.

According to the company, GE Aerospace and its partner engines power three out of every four commercial flights and two-thirds of U.S. military aircraft. The company “continues to see strong demand from its military and commercial customers for new engines and to maximize the availability of engines in operation,” according to the release. 

This year’s investment plan aims to expand the company’s capacity to continue “ramping LEAP engine production, prepare for production of the GE9X and to continue supporting the U.S. military and its allies around the world,” the release stated.
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