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Alabama aims to expand role in aerospace supply chain

DECATUR, Alabama – Companies that produce carbon fiber and specialty alloys for aircraft manufacturers have invested more than $1.7 billion in their Alabama facilities, making the state a growing player in the aerospace supply chain.

Toray, the largest producer of polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fibers, operates a Decatur plant that houses one of the world’s biggest production lines, capable of producing 8 million pounds of carbon fiber a year. The company has invested $511 million in Morgan County, where it also operates a fluorofibers facility.

Hexcel operates a plant in Decatur that makes a PAN precursor, which is converted into carbon fiber at other company plants, and houses a research and technology center for carbon fiber development. Hexcel investment in its Decatur operation will reach $691 million when an expansion announced this year is complete.

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