PARKERSBURG - Jackson County's largest employer will be a key parts supplier in a $2 billion deal with a European airplane company, officials said.
Constellium Rolled Products in Ravenswood will help make jet frames for Airbus and its parent company, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co, the company said.
The multi-year agreement is worth about $2 billion. Its plants in Ravenswood, Issoire, France and Sierre, Switzerland, will supply Airbus aluminium rolled products for airframes including wing skin panels and stringers, aero-sheets for fuselage panels and rectangular and pre-machined plates for structural components.
"This bodes well for Jackson County," said Mark Whitley, executive director of the Jackson County Development Authority.
Constellium has been successful in diversifying its products, Whitley said. Earlier this year, the company dedicated its new $46 million, 30 million pound aluminum stretcher, the world's largest and most powerful.
The plant in Ravenswood employs 1,000 people.
"This agreement is a significant accomplishment for Constellium. Through our partnership, we have a unique opportunity to work even more closely with Airbus to further develop innovative aluminium processes and designs," said Christophe Villemin, president of Constellium's Global Aerospace Division. "We are also eager to see our collaboration explore the full potential of aluminium technologies in future aircraft programs."
Ravenswood produces aluminum plate for aerospace and defense markets and coil products for transportation, marine and industrial uses.
"We are really excited about the things that are happening at Constellium," Whitley said.
The announcement comes during negotiations to re-start Ravenswood Aluminum. Those talks have snagged on electricity.
Aluminum from Constellium also will be used across all key Airbus and European Aeronautic programs, in particular with the evolution of the A320 family with advanced solutions for upper and lower wing skin panels, the company said.
Constellium also collaborates on the longest 34-meter wing panels and largest structural components seen to date in the aviation industry.