Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development. If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an
Bezos' Blue Origin wins rocket engine contract, Alabama plant coming
By Lee Roop
September 27, 2018
Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, has won a major contract to build its new BE-4 engines for the next generation of United Launch Alliance rockets and will build those engines in Huntsville, Ala., officials said today.
ULA said Thursday that two BE-4 engines will power the booster stage of the company's new Vulcan Centaur rocket due to take off for the first time in 2020. The upper stage will be powered by engines made by Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is also building a new Huntsville plant. ULA builds its rockets in a plant in Decatur, Ala.
The Blue Origin plant will cover 400,000 square feet in Cummings Research Park, employ 400 workers and and represent an investment of $200 million. Groundbreaking is expected in 2-3 months, officials said.
Two Birmingham startups win Alabama Launchpad
October 1, 2018
Two Birmingham startups won last week's Alabama Launchpad Startup Competition Finale, held at LogiCore Corp. in Cummings Research Park in Huntsville.
Winning the $50,000 concept track for entrepreneurs launching businesses was
a ridesharing service for wheelchair users. Its mobile app is currently in the development stages and is expected to launch early next year.
The $100,000 seed stage winner for companies looking to accelerate growth was Neowaste, which converts waste into low sulfur diesel fuel using a patented catalytic conversion process. The process can produce up to of 260 gallons of fuel from each ton of waste processed.
Milestone: Toyota Alabama plant produces first next-gen engine
September 28, 2018
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Toyota's Alabama plant produced its first next-generation 4-cylinder engine after a
$106 million investment
to prepare the Huntsville facility for advanced production.
The milestone occurred this week, exactly one year after the automaker announced the investment in Alabama to build next-gen engines using a new approach called Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).
"I could not be prouder to reach this milestone. Launching our new TNGA engine is a true testament to our highly-skilled workforce," said David Fernandes, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama. "They are leading Toyota Alabama into the future of advanced engine production."
MTC Logistics Plans $58 Million Cold Storage Facility in Mobile, Alabama
October 1, 2018
MTC Logistics announced plans to build a 300,000 square foot, $58 million, cold storage facility on property owned by the Alabama State Port Authority in Mobile,
. The company plans to create between 50 and 70 jobs while providing a boost to the port's container operations.
Company officials said the 5- stories tall facility and will contain almost 12 million cubic-feet of refrigerated space, enabling it to store 40,000 pallets of product. All of the product will transit in on containers and will be processed through APM Terminals before or after arriving at MTC Logistics.
Mercedes decided 25 years ago to build in Alabama, fueling economy
September 30, 2018
Twenty-five years ago, Tuscaloosa County and Alabama faced an economic crossroads.
In 1993, some of the Tuscaloosa area's biggest industries were Peco Foods, which deals with poultry, and JVC America, which dealt mainly with electronics. Across the state, apparel and textiles were seen as the leading industries. However, having a robust automotive manufacturing industry in Alabama seemed out of reach.
On Sept. 30, 1993, that all changed when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build a plant in Alabama with the state's help, nearly $250 million in incentives. The announcement meant that the Tuscaloosa County town of Vance would become the site for Mercedes' first passenger vehicle assembly plant outside of Germany.