Despite a slowing economy the Brush Wellman plant near Elmore is proceeding with the construction of a new facility to produce beryllium metal products for the Department of Defense.
The company broke ground for the $90.4 million facility last summer and is expecting to complete construction by April, 2010.
“It’s on schedule,” said Patrick Carpenter, a spokesman for Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., said last week. “The current economic uncertainties have no bearing on this. It’s a committed, funded project and we are marching toward that completion date. We plan to bring in equipment in 2010 and be fully operational in 2011.”
When the project was initially announced, the company projected about 25 new jobs would be created.
The public-private partnership between Brush Wellman and the defense department is being funded through a Defense Production Act program, with Brush contributing technology, land, and buildings as well as the operation of the new facility while the government is funding engineering, design, and equipment.
The beryllium will be used in optical devices for military aircraft, missile-defense units, and satellite equipment.
The new manufactured products will replace a nearly depleted U.S. stockpile of beryllium, according to the company.
The company, after a lengthy study, chose the Elmore site over its plant in Utah for the project.
Last October, Brush Engineered Materials announced it was experiencing weakness in its telecommunications, computer, and automotive markets but continued to experience strong demand from the defense, medical, optics, and solar markets.
The company said it was expecting that strength to continue into 2009.