GE invests $27m in Delaware composites facility

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GE Aviation is investing $27 million into its Newark, Delaware facility for manufacturing ceramic matrix composite (CMC) engine components.

The CMC parts allow aircraft engines to run hotter, leading to lower emissions and better fuel efficiency. They will make their commercial powerplant debut in the Leap engine, which is in development by GE Aviation's joint venture with Snecma, CFM International.

The demand for these types of components will grow ten times over the next decade as future engines incorporate the technology, the engine manufacturer says. The Leap will power the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 Max and Comac C919 after its entry into service in 2016. CMC components will also be used in the GE9X for the Boeing 777X.

GE plans to grow the Newark facility's workforce of 80 employees by an additional 70 people.

As part of the improvements, GE Aviation will add a "lean lab" to the facility, which allows teams of manufacturers and engineers to prove technologies before mass production.

"This investment is a testament to GE's commitment to this advanced technology", says Jeff Wessels, the facility's plant leader. "The Newark team will play a vital role in the next-generation of aircraft engines, and we're proud to be a part of it."