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January 7, 2004

Roll-Royce expands Mississippi foundry

Rolls-Royce Naval Marine Inc. yesterday broke ground for the expansion of its foundry in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The new facility will enhance manufacturing capabilities and improve production efficiency across a range of marine propellers and submarine propulsors.

Currently the foundry manufactures propellers for the U.S. Navy nuclear aircraft carrier (CVN) program and various commercial vessels. It also casts propeller blades for U.S. Navy Destroyers (DDG) and US Navy Amphibious Transport Dock class (LPD) ships. Foundry capabilties include: design and custom build capabilities; and capacity for propellers ranging in size from 60 inches to 33 feet.

"The expansion of this facility demonstrates our commitment to our customers," said Patrick J. Marolda, President, Rolls-Royce Naval Marine Inc. "We wanted to provide better products faster--to be better able to compete--and upgrading and streamlining our manufacturing in this facility allows us to do just that."

"Rolls-Royce Naval Marine is a long-time friend of Mississippi and of Pascagoula, and we're delighted to be increasing our presence here," continued Marolda.

The 18,000 square foot facility will have 15,000 square feet of manufacturing space and will house a 10 meter gantry milling machine able to machine propellers up to eight meters in diameter. Together, says Rolls-Royce, this machine and this space will "dramatically" accelerate the machining process -- three times faster than the current rate.

"Growing this facility also underscores our commitment to the U.S.," said James M. Guyette, President and CEO, Rolls-Royce North America. "Rolls-Royce is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. We've been in the US for 98 of those years and intend to be here for at least 100 more."

Mississippi Senator Trent Lott along with Representative Gene Taylor joined Rolls-Royce and other local dignitaries at the ground breaking ceremony.

"Mississippi is proud to have Rolls-Royce as an economic partner, and we certainly welcome this investment in our state and our workforce," said Senator Lott. "This expansion will sustain quality, high-skilled jobs in Jackson County, and I know the employees here will continue their long tradition of providing world-class marine products for Rolls-Royce customers throughout the globe."

Congressman Taylor said "I too would like to thank Rolls-Royce for their continued support of Jackson County. This project clearly demonstrates confidence in the future and is an endorsement of the highest caliber. The expansion will add a significant economic presence to the area where we have quality employees and dedicated citizens committed to this industry."

"Jackson County, Mississippi will continue to commit its economic development resources to support Rolls-Royce Naval Marine's long-term business strategy for the Pascagoula foundry," said George Freeland, Jr., Executive Director, Jackson County Economic Development Foundation. "We are fortunate to have Rolls-Royce Naval Marine as part of the fabric of our corporate community and we intend to foster this partnership that has helped to produce this expansion."

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