Boeing To Close Sydney Plant

 - March 5, 2010, 4:43 AM

Boeing plans to close its factory in Bankstown, a suburb of Sydney, Australia, in 2012 and move the work performed there to its plant in the Fisherman’s Bend district of Melbourne, the company announced today. Boeing said it would offer jobs in Melbourne to most of the 350 Bankstown employees affected by the closure, although it added that it expected the move to result in some “redundancies.”

The company said it needed to proceed with the consolidation due to the exit of loss-making third-party work and underutilization of both sites.

“Each facility is at about half capacity and it makes no business sense to carry duplicate overheads,” said Boeing Aerostructures Australia managing director Mark Ross. “We very much regret the impact on our staff, but the reality is that we need to improve our capability by consolidating our footprint. In such a global and competitive business, we need a sharper focus to succeed.”

The company has invested more than $200 million in the Boeing-owned Melbourne facility to prepare for 787 component production, making the site the more sensible choice for consolidation, it said. 

“Our Fisherman’s Bend plant will also become a designated center of excellence for composites and is already the focus of considerable research and development effort by Boeing Research & Technology-Australia,” said Ross. Fisherman’s Bend makes the moveable trailing edges for the Dreamliner.  

Components produced at Bankstown, including 777 rudders, elevators and cove lip doors, 747-8 wing leading edges, 737 ailerons, C-130 flaps, Bombardier CH300 tail cones and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile fins will move to Fisherman’s Bend over the next 30 months.

Boeing employs 3,300 people working on 28 sites throughout Australia, mainly in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The company bases its Australian corporate headquarters in Sydney.