Friday, May 02, 2014

Alabama firms selected for key role in Airbus project

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Hoar Program Management, the firm overseeing construction of the Airbus A320 family Final Assembly Line at Mobile Aeroplex, said today that it has awarded two Alabama-based firms the final general contractor packages on the project.

B.L. Harbert International and Rob’t J. Baggett Inc. join Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie, which in February was awarded the first general contractor package on the Airbus project. At the time, HPM said Brasfield & Gorrie is responsible for outfitting and completing the Final Assembly Line Hangar, as well as constructing the Service Building and Logistics Center.

HPM said B.L. Harbert International will be responsible for the final phase/flight line hangar, the gauging canopy and all exteriors and infrastructure at the site, including taxiways. Rob’t J. Baggett Inc. will build the transshipment hangar and the main gate, while also renovating an existing Mobile Aeroplex building to become an Airbus Logistics Center.

In addition, HPM said that Thompson Engineering of Mobile has been selected for quality assurance material testing for these packages, meaning it will assure that the actual construction and materials utilized are in compliance with design documents for the contracts.

“Now that we’ve awarded these last contracts, we continue to be pleased and proud that all of the general contractors and the majority of their subcontractors are Alabama-based,” HPM President Mike Lanier said. “Out of the more than 75 contracts issued — valued in excess of $200 million — 54 have been granted to Alabama-based companies.”

Airbus is investing $600 million in the Alabama facility, which will produce the aviation giant’s single-aisle A320 aircraft beginning in 2015, with the first customer delivery set for the following year. Airbus will hire 1,000 workers for the Mobile Aeroplex plant, which is expected to attract supplier and service provider facilities to Alabama.

Executives at both B.L. Harbert and Rob’t J. Baggett said their companies are proud to work on a project that will have a massive economic impact on Alabama by making the state a center for passenger jet production.

“We are excited to be part of building the new Airbus facility with the many new jobs it will bring and the long-term economic impact it will have in the Mobile area and across our great state of Alabama,” said Gary W. Savage, president of B.L. Harbert’s US Group.

Beau Baggett, vice president of Rob’t J. Baggett, added, “As a local contractor, we are proud of the fact that we will play a role in this project that we feel will have a huge economic impact on our home — Mobile, the state of Alabama and the Gulf Coast Region.”

The Airbus construction project is gaining momentum. In February, HPM said the last support truss was placed atop the roof of the Final Assembly Line Hangar, the first structure to rise at the site. The important milestone was reached less than 10 months after Airbus held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its Alabama facility. In mid-March, HPM and its partners hosted a “topping out ceremony” at the building.

Brasfield & Gorrie Regional President Brian Barr has said his company is excited to work on the project.

“Brasfield & Gorrie enjoys a long tradition in Alabama, and we welcome the opportunity to assist Airbus with advancing this important program,” Barr said in February.  “It is our mission on this project to help make their investment in our state and our people successful.”

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