Miss. preparing package to lure Rolls Royce

Published 4:50 pm Thursday, January 25, 2007

The state is preparing a proposal for Rolls-Royce North America to lure the growing power systems giant and aircraft engine maker to Mississippi.

Mississippi is one of eight states, where the company may expand operations.

Rolls-Royce spokeswoman Mia Walton said the other states are Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

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The states have been asked to submit proposals by Feb. 1, Walton said.

“There is a lot of potential work. How it will be divided among sites is yet to be decided,” she said.

Walton said an exhaustive analysis of all 50 states resulted in the list of eight.

The Mississippi Development Authority is working on the package that will include employee training and incentives, based on what Rolls-Royce needs for its expansion, said MDA director Gray Swoope.

“We are very interested in this project,” Swoope said Tuesday. “It is too early to talk about, but we have spent a lot of time working on economic development and business recruitment. We sell value in Mississippi.”

A Rolls-Royce news release said its power systems and services are used on land, at sea and in the air. To maintain its competitiveness in those markets, Rolls-Royce is investing in technology and facilities.

Rolls-Royce broke ground on a new jet engine testing facility at Stennis Space Center in June 2006. It also owns a foundry in Pascagoula that manufactures Navy and commercial ship propellers.