Blue Origin Looks for Washington State Incentives to Build Rocket Engine

BE-4 staged combustion testing (Credit: Blue Origin)
BE-4 staged combustion testing (Credit: Blue Origin)

Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson told business leaders his company looking for economic incentives to build the BE-4 rocket in Washington State where it is being designed.

At its Kent headquarters, Blue Origin employs more than 400 engineers who design and build development models of both its space rockets and the engines that power them.

“Building the engine near the engineering team that designed it … has benefits,” said Meyerson, speaking at the Economic Forecast Conference at the Seattle Westin Hotel. “But there are other factors.”

He lamented the fact that two tax incentives that applied to Blue Origin’s work — the high-technology research business and occupation tax credit and sales-tax exemption — were both allowed to expire at the beginning of 2015.

And he called for the passage of House Bill 2226 in the current legislative session, which would extend to manufacturers of spacecraft the same aerospace-industry incentives available to Boeing and its suppliers in the commercial-airplane business.

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