Report: Boeing looking for building with 4.2 million square feet for 777X plant

12/05/2013 4:57 PM

08/08/2014 10:20 AM

Boeing Co. plans to spend as much as $10 billion on a factory for its new 777X jetliner, and wants to put the plant near a large airport with good rail and road access, according to a newspaper report.

The details come from an 11-page request for proposals recently issued by Boeing, a copy of which was obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the newspaper reported on Thursday.

Boeing declined to comment. The company expects to receive bids back from interested states next week and make a site decision early next year, spokesman Doug Alder said.

The document, stamped “proprietary,” says Boeing wants to start construction next November and begin production of the new jet in July 2016, the paper said. Boeing also wants the site for free or at very low cost, it added.

Boeing recently invited more than a dozen states to bid for the new jet program, after workers in Washington state rejected a labor deal that would have guaranteed that the plane would be built there, where Boeing already builds the current 777.

Kansas and Wichita officials have told The Eagle that they are working on a proposal, but declined to provide much other information.

The 777X is an updated version of Boeing’s mainstay long-haul airplane, with new engines and wings that promise improved fuel efficiency. The company last month launched the new plane program with 259 orders worth more than $100 billion at list prices.

A recent study by Washington state said the 777X would support 56,000 jobs and more than $20 billion in economic benefit to the state.

According to the Post-Dispatch, the new 777X plant could be one large, 4.2 million-square-foot building costing between $7 billion and $10 billion.

The factory could also be split into two buildings of 3.1 million square feet and 1.1 million square feet, costing $4 billion to $6 billion for the larger facility and $2 billion to $4 billion for the smaller one, which would house fabrication of the wing, the paper said.

Missouri’s state senate on Wednesday passed an incentive package that could be worth $1.7 billion if Boeing builds the new plane in that state and creates 8,000 jobs. On Thursday, the measure was being considered by the Missouri House.

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