Moses Lake ups ante in bid for BMW plant

The state of Washington will provide $2 million to off-set part of the cost of a new electrical substation for a proposed new carbon-fiber autoparts plant in Moses Lake.

The decision to allocate the money was announced earlier this month, and is one of several moves that state and local officials are making as they continue to woo SGL Carbon, a joint venture that proposes to build carbon-fiber parts for BMW automobiles. Moses Lake is one of two sites — the other being in Canada — that SGL reportedly is considering for the factory.

There’s been no word on when SGL will announce its decision, but a recent KXLY-TV report suggested a final decision is “weeks away.” The $200 million factory is expected to produce about 200 jobs when it opens.

Washington is a global leader in composites research and manufacturing, in large part because Boeing pioneered the use of composite materials in aircraft with the 787. Washington has research centers at the University of Washington and worker-training centers at both Edmonds and Everett community colleges. And last year, Italian automaker Lamborghini created an advanced composites lab with UW in Seattle to study ways to use composites in the auto industry.

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