Hexcel (Stamford, CT, US) announced that it will build a 10,870m2 manufacturing plant in Casablanca, Morocco. The new facility is part of Hexcel’s ongoing effort to diversify its global aerospace supply chain to support customers’ growing demand for engineered honeycomb core used in composite sandwich constructions for lightweight aircraft secondary structures, nacelles and helicopter blades.
In recent years, Hexcel has increased its capacity at existing plants to support current engineered-core business and plans further expansions to capture additional opportunities. The new Moroccan plant will be built at the MidParc Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Industrial Park, located near Morocco’s Mohammed V airport and existing facilities operated by several Hexcel customers, including Safran (Aircelle, Gonfreville-l’Orcher, France), Airbus (STELIA Aerospace), Matis Aerospace (a joint venture between Boeing and Safran) and Bombardier (Montrèal, QC, Canada). Construction on the US$20 million project begins in the spring, and the plant is expected to be fully operational by mid-2017. By 2020, it is expected to employ more than 200 people.
Hexcel’s chairman, CEO and president, Nick Stanage, says, “We believe engineered core has an excellent growth outlook and global upside potential. This new plant will position us to win new business to supply engineered core for engines and nacelles and other commercial aerostructure applications. We expect to partner more closely with our key customer base in Europe, Middle East, Africa and North America through this new Moroccan center of excellence.”
Bob Noble, VP, partnering for success, supplier management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, says, “Through our joint venture, Matis, Boeing has been an anchor of the growing Moroccan aerospace ecosystem since 2000. We welcome Hexcel’s new facility, which will serve to further expand regional capabilities, increasing the value Morocco offers aerospace companies around the world.”