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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - Boeing's presence in South Carolina is getting bigger. The company says it has acquired more land in North Charleston, the city where some 787s are built.
The land will support a 230,000-square-foot facility to apply customer liveries, or paint jobs, to 787 "Dreamliners" that roll of the North Charleston assembly line.
The new paint facility, expected to open in 2016, will end a 2,200-mile side trip for every 787 produced in North Charleston.
"Those airplanes have been flown to Fort Worth Texas to be painted by a supplier, and then flown back to South Carolina for delivery," says Candy Eslinger with Boeing Communications.
Eslinger says the company has also leased 468 acres in North Charleston to "protect for potential growth." Is it enough space to site, say, a 777X assembly line?
"We don't comment on speculation about the 777X," Eslinger says. "That decision hasn't been made yet."
Boeing says it has no specific plans for the land, to be leased from Palmetto Railways, a division of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.
South Carolina is one of several states, including Washington, hoping to acquire 777X assembly jobs.