GE Aviation and SeaCast Inc. have established a 50/50 joint venture to produce jet engine components at SeaCast's facility in Butte, MT.
SeaCast, which has its headquarters in Marysville, WA, produces castings and specialty components. The joint venture in Butte will produce tubes, ducts and small structural castings for GE jet engines.
The joint venture will enhance GE Aviation's global supply chain as its engine production rates continue to rise. SeaCast's Butte operation has supplied GE Aviation for several years, producing tubes and ducts for such engines as the popular GE90 and GEnx high-thrust models for large commercial jetliners.
Both GE Aviation and SeaCast will invest in the Butte facility in order to handle higher volume. The Butte operation currently has about 70 employees, and is expected to grow over the next four years.
"We are excited by the manufacturing expertise at the Butte operation, including critical skills in welding and fabrication," says Colleen Athans, vice president and general manager of the Supply Chain Division at GE Aviation. "We are very fortunate to have a strong order book, and this joint venture will provide much needed additional capacity to meet our commitments."
Bert Robins, SeaCast vice president and co-owner says, "We are thrilled to have our Butte facility team up with GE Aviation. Our combined core competencies create a truly unique partnership that ensures the shop's growth and provides Montana with strong, sustainable job opportunities."
The relationship between GE and SeaCast dates back many years. In 2010, the opportunity for a formal partnership was advanced at Senator Max Baucus' Montana Economic Development Summit in Butte where GE Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt was invited to serve as a keynote speaker.
"Great news like this is what our Montana Economic Development Summits are all about: bringing the right people together to create good-paying jobs," says Baucus. "This is great news for Butte and sends the signal far and wide that Montana is an innovative and great place to build the kinds of partnerships that will move our economy forward. My hat goes off to the folks at SeaCast and GE for coming together for Montana jobs."
Senator John Tester echoed Baucus' enthusiasm for the GE/SeaCast partnership. He says GE's decision to expand operations at SeaCast is welcome news for Butte and southwest Montana.
"Montana has hard-working people, great schools, healthy communities, and a rich outdoor heritage that makes our state an ideal place to grow business and create jobs, and I thank GE for helping to lead the way," he said.