SGL Group and BMW Group jointly announced that their joint venture, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC, will build a state-of-the-art carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, Wash. During the initial phase, $100 million will be invested and 80 local jobs will be created. The fibers manufactured at Moses Lake will be used exclusively for BMW Group’s upcoming Megacity Vehicle. The decision to build the carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake was based primarily on the availability of renewable clean hydropower and competitive energy costs in the state of Washington.
In February, BMW Group announced that the Megacity Vehicle, set to be launched by 2015, would be assembled in Leipzig, Germany. Now it has a base in the U.S. Favorable infrastructure conditions, existing utilities, a skilled labor force and ease of working with the local government were also contributing factors in selecting the Moses Lake site. The new facility will also help to commercialize viable manufacturing of ultra-lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) for use in future vehicle concepts.