Guaymas, Sonora, has taken another step toward its goal of becoming a one-stop shop for the aerospace industry.

Construction began last week on a new plant for Mason, Ohio-based Ellison Surface Technologies, which provides surface treatment and coating for aerospace components.

The 35,000-square-foot plant is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year, said Armando Lee Quiroga, general manager of the Guaymas industrial park, which is owned by Tucson-based The Offshore Group.

He said the company expects to hire about 50 people when it opens.

Sonora Gov. Guillermo Padres took part in the construction ceremony by placing bricks on the developing building.

The plant is Ellison's fourth expansion in the past 12 months, including new facilities in Rutland, Vt.; Hebron, Ky.; and Bromont, Quebec.

"This expansion into Mexico is a principal part of our long-term strategic initiatives," President and CEO C. Michael Ellison said in a statement. "We look forward to being an integral part of the growing aerospace and industrial gas-turbine manufacturing hub in Sonora."

Since focusing on the aerospace industry over the past few years, Guaymas and neighboring Empalme have seen steady growth in those manufacturers and suppliers.

Ellison is the 62nd aerospace-related company in Sonora. Of those, 52 are foreign companies, said Carolina Vera, with the Economic Development Council for Sonora.

Ellison is the first facility in Mexico to offer vapor phase aluminizing, a diffusion coating to protect turbine components from corrosion. The company will also perform high velocity oxygen fuel spray and plasma spray.

"These new coatings unlock new business opportunities for our local aerospace companies that were inaccessible before," Gov. Padres said in a statement. "As a result, several hundred jobs will be created in our region in a very short horizon."

The growth in Mexico's aerospace sector has been a cornerstone in the country's economic recovery.

Earlier this year, Sonora officials announced plans for Guaymas to become the first city in the world with door-to-door service for aerospace engine components.

Instead of having a part travel around the globe for completion, the supply-chain hub being created in Guaymas would offer a complete product.

"We're on our way," Lee said. "We're moving in that direction."

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at or 573-4232.