NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The newest Boeing Dreamliner will be made exclusively in North Charleston.
Boeing announced on Wednesday that the 787-10 will begin production in the next three years, and it will only be produced at Boeing's North Charleston plant.
The 787-10 will be longer and wider than other Dreamliners, giving passengers and their luggage more space.
According to Boeing, there are already 132 orders for the 787-10.
"Today's announcement from Boeing is huge for South Carolina. The fact they are committing the future of the Dreamliner to our state – the first place, ever, outside of Washington State that Boeing has built a commercial airplane – lets the whole world know that South Carolina workers are the best around," said Gov. Nikki Haley on her Facebook page."The success that Boeing South Carolina has become in less than five years is a testament to the Boeing leadership and above all, the Boeing employees whose talent and dedication make all of us so proud. It truly is another great day in South Carolina."
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says the announcement will draw other companies to Charleston, and that means more jobs, and more money being pumped into the state.
"The more product that we get here from Boeing is going to accelerate the number of suppliers that move to the area, which is a spin off creation of jobs that happens when you get a major company in," Summey said on Wednesday.
A press release states that introducing the 787-10 in North Charleston takes advantage of the facility's capacity while allowing the Everett facility to continue improving productivity as it focuses on the 787-8 and 787-9.
"We looked at all our options and found the most efficient and effective solution is to build the 787-10 at Boeing South Carolina," said Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This will allow us to balance 787 production across the North Charleston and Everett sites as we increase production rates. We're happy with our growth and success in South Carolina, and the continued success at both sites gives us confidence in our plan going forward."
The Machinists Union, which represents workers at the plant in Washington, says they aren't surprised by Boeing's decision but are disappointed the planes will be made in South Carolina and not Washington.
Boeing officials say they don't expect to see a significant difference in the total workforce in South Carolina based on the announcement of the 787-10. There are currently 7500 workers supporting Boeing in South Carolina.
The 787 production system includes three production lines: two in Everett and one in South Carolina. Boeing says the integrated production system currently operates at a production rate of 10 airplanes per month.
Boeing announced last year that the 787 production rate will increase to 12 airplanes per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade.
The Everett facility will continue to assemble seven airplanes per month, while Boeing South Carolina final assembly will gradually increase from three 787s per month today to five per month in 2016 and seven per month by the end of the decade.