The ceremonial ground-breaking took place last week for a futuristic manufacturing facility that will make Moses Lake the largest producer of carbon fiber in the world. The Columbia Basin is, and will be the source for the basic material of the world’s most sophisticated automobiles. SGL Carbon Group and BMW jointly invested $200 million in a facility that will triple their carbon fiber production and boost employment from 80 to 200. Thread synthesized in Japan is shipped to Moses Lake to be baked under intense heat and transformed into a super-strong thread, spooled and shipped to Germany, then woven and molded into auto body parts stronger than steel and half the weight.
It is an absolutely fantastic process that we could scarcely dream of a few years ago. We in Wenatchee should congratulate our neighbors and take note, for we share many of the same assets that drew BMW and SGL to Moses Lake. We have harnessed the abundant, renewable energy that flows through our region, power that adds no carbon to the atmosphere, power efficiently produced and reasonably priced, enough clean power to be a source of pride and selling point for perhaps the world’s best electric vehicle, to make it lighter and stronger and boost its range beyond 100 miles a charge.