U.S. firm eyes Abbotsford for potential aerospace plant that could employ 10,000 workers

Unnamed American firm eyeing Abbotsford International Airport as potential site for massive facility

Abbotsford is being considered as the potential home for an aerospace manufacturing plant that could employ more than 10,000 people.

The city’s economic development team will tell a committee next week that an unnamed American company has eyed Abbotsford as a potential location for a “manufacturing plant.”

The possible plant is described in a quarterly report by economic development staff for the upcoming Business, Innovation, Growth and Attraction committee meeting. The report regularly lists companies that have expressed interest in moving to the Abbotsford area. Many of the leads do not pan out, but some have in the past.

The report says that the company in question is considering two options. A smaller option would be a “$125 million investment and 7,000 jobs,” which itself would make such a facility one of, if not the, largest single employment site in British Columbia. A larger option on the table would encompass a $830 million investment and result in 10,000 new jobs.

By comparison, construction on the massive Site C dam in Northern B.C. employs just shy of 5,000 workers, while Boeing employs around 70,000 people in Washington State.

It’s not clear how far discussions have gotten, but the report says the “next round of engagement is due to occur in January 2020.”

The news comes as Canada’s aerospace industry is currently watching a competition to replace Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets. Three companies – Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Saab – are expected to bid on a $19 billion contract to replace the jets. Lockheed Martin and Boeing are each based in the United States. The government has a longstanding requirements that companies invest some of their money in Canada, although those rules were recently loosened.

RELATED: Abbotsford airport raking in millions, two decades after being bought for $10

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