Space Florida, a state agency that promotes economic development in aerospace, is prepared to lead an effort to attract a space rocket production plant to the Space Coast region in east-central Florida.
“The competition is stiff. It’s a very desirable project,” Dale Ketcham, chief of strategic alliances at Space Florida, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Aerospace company Blue Origin already has decided to put a testing facility for its new BE-4 rocket engine in Cape Canaveral. Construction of the $200 million testing facility is expected to start in summer.
But Kent, Washington-based Blue Origin hasn’t yet decided where to put its BE-4 engine production plant. The company’s billionaire owner is Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
Blue Origin reportedly got government incentives totaling approximately $40 million to put its BE-4 engine testing facility in Cape Canaveral.
Another round of public incentives may be needed to attract the BE-4 production plant to Florida.
Ketcham told the Sentinel that Florida is probably in competition with such states as Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. But it is unclear because Blue Origin has not established a formal bidding process. [Orlando Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth