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Hexcel has broken-ground on a new $20 million engineered core facility at the MidParc Free Trade Zone Industrial Park in Casablanca, Morocco.
Presiding over the ceremony were Hexcel Vice President and General Manager, Thierry Merlot, and Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Moroccan Minister for Industry, Commerce, Investment and Digital Economy.
Hexcel explains that, when fully operational in 2017, the facility will convert HexWeb honeycomb materials into engineered core parts that are used for structural reinforcement and light weighting in aerospace applications, including aircraft structures, engine nacelles and helicopter blades. In the interim, it will occupy a temporary facility on the Midparc site that will begin operating in Q4 2016. The plant is expected to employ more than 200 people by 2020.
Hexcel adds that the Casablanca facility is part of its ongoing worldwide investment to create a diversified and robust global supply chain to support aerospace customers’ growing demand for engineered core. In recent years, Hexcel says it has increased capacity at existing plants to support its engineered core business and plans further expansions to capture additional opportunities in a global market with excellent growth potential.
Merlot commented, “Morocco’s forward-looking industrial policy, economic growth plan and the establishment of industrial free trade zones influenced our choice of location. Morocco has a highly skilled, competitive workforce, is well situated geographically, and has a quality infrastructure – all of which are key logistical criteria for our industry. Other deciding factors were the local Mohammed V international airport and the close proximity of several Hexcel customers including Safran (Aircelle), Airbus (STELIA), Daher, and Bombardier.”
Executive Vice President Performance and Competitiveness at Safran, Jean-Jacques Orsini, said, “We welcome Hexcel’s decision to invest in Morocco and build an engineered core facility at the Midparc Industrial Park. Hexcel’s new plant will be close to our own Safran (Aircelle) plant that we opened in 2005, and having a supplier at such close proximity will create a very efficient supply chain that will benefit both of our companies and the aerospace industry more generally, not only in Morocco but around the world.”
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