The Boeing Co. could get as much as $400 million in incentives to build its new 787 Dreamliner factory in South Carolina, Gov. Mark Sanford said in an interview Friday.
Incentives offered by the state, including exemptions on sales tax and fuel used in test flights, could be $250 million to “a little more than $400 million, depending on how you cut the apple,” Sanford said after Boeing’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new assembly plant in North Charleston.
Boeing, the second-biggest commercial-plane maker after Airbus SAS, announced the South Carolina location Oct. 28 after failing to reach a no-strike deal with Seattle-area workers. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers shuttered Boeing factories four times in 20 years with walkouts, including a two-month strike in 2008.
“It’s all about competitiveness,” Jim Albaugh, head of Boeing’s commercial airplanes unit, told reporters after Friday’s ceremony. “Coming here will help us sell airplanes.”
Albaugh said earlier that the move to South Carolina will add jobs in the southeastern U.S. state as well as in Washington state, home to Boeing’s Seattle-area manufacturing hub.
Boeing will get a “combination of statutory incentives available to any company and some sales-tax exemptions specific to the company,” Sanford said. “There are some special incentives in terms of exemptions that were important to make the case for South Carolina versus other places.” Details won’t be public for another year, in compliance with state law, he said.
The new facility, adjacent to a parts plant Boeing bought in July, will be the company’s first such factory outside of Washington. The new line is intended to help Chicago-based Boeing recover from delays that have set the 787 back more than two years.
The plant will be completed by mid-2011, said Tim Coyle, vice president of the Charleston site. Deliveries of 787 airplanes from the new facility will begin by July 2012, he said.