Source AP ©

Rolls-Royce to open plant in Virginia

The world's second largest maker of aircraft engines, Rolls-Royce, plans to open a plant in Virginia to test and assemble engines for midsize jets.

Rolls-Royce spokesman said the plant, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Richmond, is expected to create about 500 jobs and be fully operational by the end of 2009.

The plant also will have the capability to create rotors for the F136 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter.

The London company has its North American headquarters in Chantilly. It had announced plans this month to close its turbine plant in Liverpool, England.

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine was to formally announce the economic development at a news conference later Tuesday.

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