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Rolls-Royce plans $42M local investment, more jobs

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Rolls-Royce Corp. plans to invest $42 million to set up a new manufacturing plant in Indianapolis and create 100 jobs by 2014, the company announced Tuesday morning.

The new production line will be installed in a vacant building in the AmeriPlex Industrial Park, near Indianapolis International Airport, at 5345 Decatur Blvd. Rolls-Royce signed a long-term lease for 81,500 square feet of space in what’s been known as the National Building.

Rolls-Royce is making the investment after deciding last fall to shift production of a certain engine component, compressed banded stators, from other locations to North America. Stators are stationary sets of blades that are mounted around a jet engine to handle air flow off the rotors.

The banded stators will go into the Trent XWB, a civil aircraft engine that powers the Airbus A350 XWB, which is set to fly for the first time in 2013.

The new facility also will produce components for the Trent 1000, AE engine series and T56 turboprop engines, Rolls-Royce said.

The city of Indianapolis is offering Rolls-Royce a 10-year, $23 million tax abatement for this and other investments. The company is redeveloping its historic campus on South Tibbs Avenue and moving 2,200 office workers to Eli Lilly and Co.’s former Faris campus downtown, now called the Rolls-Royce Meridian Center.

About 80 of the new positions will be in production and 20 will be office jobs, Rolls-Royce spokesman Joel Reuter said. Members of United Auto Workers who work for Rolls-Royce will be invited to bid on the new positions.

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