Gregoire, Moses Lake officials celebrate BMW plant

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MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire will be in Moses Lake Thursday to celebrate the opening of a plant to produce carbon fibers for the automotive industry.

Gregoire has said the new plant could become the largest facility of its kind in the world because of strong demand for the composites by German carmaker BMW AG.

Depending on their application, carbon fiber composites can be lighter, stronger and far more durable than many metals, and they are increasingly being used in the automotive industry.

The plant will initially employ about 80 people. The carbon fibers manufactured at this plant will go into reinforced plastic parts for BMW's Megacity vehicle, a high-tech electric car.