NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Boeing cut the ribbon Wednesday on its latest investment in the Tri-County area, a 225,000 square foot propulsion plant in Palmetto Commerce Park in North Charleston.
Workers will design and build engine air inlets for Boeing's single aisle 737 MAX, a new jet Boeing says will be 20 percent more fuel efficient than any other competitor.
"It was just over a year ago that under our feet we broke ground on this building and look today at this incredible building that's up," Propulsion Systems Division Vice President Nicole Piasecki said.
The workers will make parts for a plane that won't be built in North Charleston but will be built in Everett, Washington.
Boeing officials say what's happening here is still a very important part of the process.
"The inlet is going to be built on our newest 737, so we won't got anywhere without South Carolina when it comes to the 737 MAX," said Boeing South Carolina Vice President and General Manager Beverly Wyse.
Piasecki says North Charleston was picked for the plant for several reasons.
"The talent, the workforce, the business friendly environment here."
Governor Nikki Haley applauded Boeing for believing in South Carolina.
"Now you look at today. They are taking a position of production that would have been outsourced and said you know what? We're going to try them again, we're going to do this again," Haley said.
We are told the work won't be limited to the 737 MAX.
The plant also will design parts for the 777 X, a new wide body jet.
"South Carolina now is part of the much bigger Boeing family of airplanes than you could ever imagine back in 2008 when we made the second decision to do the second line," Commercial Airplanes Vice President ray Conner said.
The propulsion plant is located a few miles away from Boeing's main campus.