Toray Industries, one of Boeing's main suppliers of composite materials for its new 787 and 777X airliners, this week announced plans to build a $1 billion plant in South Carolina, the same state where Boeing has a second 787 Dreamliner assembly line.
Toray's American subsidiary, Toray Composites America, has a major plant in Frederickson in Pierce County. That plant supplies composite materials to the nearby Boeing plant that builds tails for the 787 and 777.
The Japanese company's decision to create a new plant in the South is another indication of the growth of the aerospace industry in that region. Not only does Boeing have a new plant in South Carolina, but Airbus is building a factory in Alabama, and a major Airbus supplier has built a plant in Kinston, N.C. that manufactures composite sections for Airbus's A350XWB.
Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy said this week that she's not concerned that the Japanese composites supplier is building a plant in the South.
Toray is expanding its Frederickson plant to keep up with demand, and has hired more workers to increase its production pace there, she said.
Toray first located in the the Port of Tacoma's Frederickson Industrial Development in 1992 and has steadily expanded its presence there.
Boeing Tuesday announced it will build the new composite wing for its updated 777X long-range jet in Everett. Frederickson had been in the running for that plant, but the proximity of the 777X assembly line to the wing plant site in Everett won the day for that Snohomish County city.