Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Avacelle Wins Round 1 in State Loan Request

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Avacelle Wins Round 1 in State Loan Request

Article excerpt

After receiving approval for a $3 million state-backed loan, directors of Avacelle Inc., the Oklahoma City company which plans to manufacture airplane mufflers, aren't ready to celebrate.

An application to issue $3 million in state economic development bonds to support a loan, which was approved Thursday by the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority, must now be approved by the Oklahoma Bond Oversight Commission.

"Right now, all we can do is wait for the commission to make its determination," said Jay T. Edwards, who will become chairman of the board when the company is officially formed. "Until then, we can't count on anything.

"I understand they (the commission) are to meet March 29 to make a decision and 'til then we can't talk publicly about the company. We're just waiting for everything to fall into place."

If final approval is given, company organizers will be able to close immediately on a private loan and start formation of the company. More than 600 jobs are expected to be created with the new company, Edwards said.

Plans are to build hush kits for General Electric JT3-D jet engines which power the older Boeing 707 and 727 aircraft. There are about 500 of these planes still in existence and must have some sort of modification to meet federal noise pollution standards, Edwards said.

There will be about 480 employees hired at the Oklahoma City manufacturing facility and another 200 employed at a test flight and installation center. Hiring could start as early as April 1, Edwards said.

Location for these facilities has not been determined, but organizers are negotiating with several land owners, Edwards said.

"We feel this is an opportunity for the state, an opportunity to increase employment in Oklahoma City," Edwards said. "But while we've got to wait until this (loan application) goes through its process, we've got to keep in motion on the assumption that everything will go as planned. …

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