Washington State Pitches Plan for New Airbus Plant

WASHINGTON -- Washington state and three of its cities are considering putting a $600 million Airbus plant in Boeing's back yard. State officials, along with representatives of Moses Lake and Spokane, will be in Washington, D.C., for a briefing on...

Anderson, the Moses Lake port official, said the city also has access to a major barge facility in Pasco 70 miles away, its electric rates are among the cheapest in the nation, and with roughly 300 days of sunshine the flying weather is excellent. As for access to a college-level engineering center, Anderson said the local public utility district has wired the county for fiber optics.

"These companies want to get their costs down as low as possible," he said. "You can't do that downtown."

A Boeing spokeswoman, Amanda Landers, declined comment.

EADS sent invitations to the 50 states asking if they were interested in a new manufacturing plant. Guy Hicks, a company spokesman, said a majority of the states are expected to attend Tuesday's invitation-only meeting. Each of the states was asked to present no more than three sites that meet the criteria.

As for whether EADS would consider a new plant in Washington despite the state's connection to Boeing, Hicks said, "All 50 states were invited. We are looking for the right place to do business."

A decision where to locate the new plant is expected by the end of the year.