During the Farnborough International Air Show near London on Monday, Norsk Titanium confirmed that Plattsburgh has been selected as the location for the world’s first industrial scale high-technology manufacturing plant for titanium aerospace components. The international company will invest $1 billion in a new manufacturing plant and training facility in the northern New York city.
Norsk Titanium created a new method of producing aerospace grade components by melting titanium wire in an inert argon atmosphere. It results in a 35 to 75 percent less expensive process with less waste and energy use, according to a video from the Norwegian company. “What we discovered has made us today the world’s only qualified aerospace supplier of structural titanium 3D manufactured parts. Our revolutionary approach allows aircraft manufacturers to save millions of dollars on each plane.”
New York state approved $125 million for the Norsk Titanium factory in the 2016-17 budget. SUNY Polytechnic has now ordered the first 20 Rapid Plasma Deposition machines to establish baseline production and the state released an additional $4 million in planning funds for Norsk Titanium to complete the manufacturing facility.
Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas has been in Britain operating the New York State booth at the air show. He says Norsk, the state and officials wanted to take advantage of the premier global aerospace event of the year to spread the word about what Norsk is about to do at Plattsburgh with its cutting-edge technology. “Norsk Titanium is about to transform the way aerospace components are made globally. Their plans for Plattsburgh represent the first industrial scale 3D production facility for this type of material anywhere in the world. And, as we’re seeing at Farnborough, has really put Plattsburgh on the international map firmly once and for all.”
The Development Corporation has been working with Norsk Titanium on the development of a workforce training facility, which will be separate from the main manufacturing facility. Executive Director Paul Grasso says this is a huge announcement for the North Country and the state. “For a company like Norsk to choose Plattsburgh to build this first-of-a-kind facility is going to send a message to a lot of other people who are looking to locate plants in the U.S. that we not only met all of their economic development needs, but also their workforce development needs. It’s a great marketing opportunity along with all of the other things that we’ve had happen especially the Foreign Direct Investment magazine naming Plattsburgh as the number two micropolitan city of the future.”
Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon says officials throughout the region have been awaiting the announcement for some time. “This is a big deal. We are an economy that’s on the upswing. The whole northeastern corner of the state is really prime for a lot of development. This will provide jobs and revenue for the region for years to come. The fact that you’re going to have 400 jobs and a very viable company here, and one that we believe will attract others in its cluster, is going to have a long term effect on our economy.”
Norsk Titanium will invest $1 billion during the first 10 years of operations. The new facility will be operational by the end of 2017, creating more than 400 new jobs.