SGL/BMW project on track

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An exterior view of SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers' Moses Lake plant Thursday, where work continues to complete the faciilty by April.

MOSES LAKE - Work on SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers' emerging

Moses Lake plant, on Randolph Road, is on schedule.

The next project milestone for the 154,250 square-foot plant is the

April 20 substantial completion date, said plant Manager Steve

Swanson.

MOSES LAKE - Work on SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers' emerging Moses Lake plant, on Randolph Road, is on schedule.

The next project milestone for the 154,250 square-foot plant is the April 20 substantial completion date, said plant Manager Steve Swanson.

The company had a Jan. 7 "dry-in" date for the facility, which was met.

The dry-in date for the plant is similar to one for a house, meaning the inside of the structure isn't totally done, but the area is enclosed.

"Everything's on time right now," he explained. "It's coming along really well."

The cold weather has not affected construction work.

"We were able to work around the weather conditions and still meet the schedule," Swanson commented.

The remaining work to complete by April includes the installation of equipment and finish work in the inside of the building.

He is working on two phases simultaneously, construction and getting prepared for the plant's start-up.

For plant start-up, the company recently hired its initial group of 11 entry-level production employees. They start work on Feb. 22.

"We extended job offers to them just this last week," he said.

The group is being sent to Evanston, Wyo., to begin training.

"We just had an excellent group of citizens in the area to chose from," he commented. "It was a great group. We were really happy with the level of applicants we received."

The company is "very happy" with the community support of the project and about the many applicants showing interest for the different positions, he said.

They are interviewing job-hunters for some supervisory positions now.

The next round of hiring takes place during the second quarter.

It's expected there will be 42 plant jobs to support production line 1 of the project.

In the past six weeks, the building has gone up on the job site, changing the landscape of mostly sagebrush.

One area of the plant facing Randolph Road appears incomplete because of the building metal frame showing.

That area is where Swanson's professional crew will be housed.

Another visible portion of the project last week was a crane installing a regenerative thermal oxidizer to treat exhaust air.

When completed, the plant manufactures parts for BMW's future Megacity vehicle.

SGL is a joint venture between BMW and SGL Group.

In January, Daimler AG announced plans to start a carbon-fiber parts plant with Toray Industries, of Japan, according to a Jan. 25 Wall Street Journal article.

Daimler is the second auto company to fund a carbon-fiber plant, the article states.

SGL was the first.

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